I'm sure you remember where you were when you heard that Bank Of America announced that after receiving taxpayer bailouts, it was going to institute a $5 monthly fee for the privilege of using your debit card. "Well, that's exactly why I saved Bank Of America in 2008," you probably said, because you are a Good American. "I look forward to my new negative-interest checking account," you probably added.
Well, apparently you Good Americans are in short supply, because according to Bloomberg News this morning, BofA Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan has been inundated by a bunch of Negative Nancies, and the experience has left him feeling "incensed."
Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan said he's "incensed" by public criticism of his company and is pushing back by reminding local leaders of its contributions to their economies.
Moynihan, 52, told employees in a global town hall meeting last week from the firm's Charlotte, North Carolina, headquarters that the "place to win the battle" over the bank's battered public image is at the state and municipal level.
"I, like you, get a little incensed when you think about how much good all of you do, whether it's volunteer hours, charitable giving we do, serving clients and customers well," Moynihan said during the Oct. 18 gathering. To the bank's critics, he said, "You ought to think a little about that before you start yelling at us."
Right! Did any of these complainers even "think" before they started "yelling" at Bank of America? Actually, as Bloomberg goes on to report, they may have spent some time contemplating the fact that "Bank of America ranked lowest in a 24-bank survey of small business customer satisfaction from J.D. Power and Associates this month," or that "Bank of America was named the country's second-worst company by Consumerist.com after BP Plc, the firm blamed for the worst U.S. offshore oil spill."
Why was Consumerist so hard on Bank Of America? Well, perhaps after doing a little bit of thinking, they realized, "Oh, hey, we've published tons of pieces attesting to Bank Of America's awfulness! Like the time the bank got an address wrong and foreclosed on the wrong home. Or the time they made mortgage payment demands from someone who wasn't their customer. Or the time they threatened a customer with foreclosure if he didn't make a prompt payment of $0.00. I mean, I could go on and on.
In fact, I think I will! Other Bank of America Greatest Hits include giving the same account number to two different people (isn't that a basic thing that banks are supposed to be able to handle?); opening credit card accounts for people who don't ask for them; "hindering" a federal review of FHA-insured housing loans; and two class-action suits -- one settled, one pending -- that arose when indifference to customer satisfaction crossed the line into grifterdom.
And of course, there was this delightful story:
But Brian T. Moynihan is done being persecuted, so now he's going to cuddle up to state and municipal pols to remind them of all the good that BofA does to their campaign coffers. Although, for what it's worth, Moynihan did tell the attendees of an October 5 conference in Washington that he "wanted to stay away from the politics."
READ THE WHOLE THING:
'Incensed' Moynihan Pushes Back at BofA's Critics With Localized Campaign [Bloomberg]