NEW YORK, June 27 (Reuters) – Bank of America Corp (BAC.N) is adding consumer branches in four new U.S. states, it said on Tuesday, bringing its national footprint closer to rival JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N).
Bank of America will open new financial centers in Nebraska, Wisconsin, Alabama and Louisiana as part of a four-year expansion across nine markets, including Louisville, Milwaukee and New Orleans.
The openings will give BofA a retail presence in 39 states, compared with JPMorgan, the largest U.S. lender, which has branches in 49 states.
The two banks have been buoyed by resilient consumers and small businesses, while bringing in more income from clients’ interest payments as the Federal Reserve raised borrowing costs.
Consumer banking accounted for 38% of BofA’s net income in the first quarter. The new branches aim to bring its services — which include banking, lending and brokerage — under one roof.
“By expanding our capabilities in these markets, we are able to better serve clients, and help drive local community growth,” CEO Brian Moynihan said in a statement.
The bank predicts a “mild recession” for the U.S. in the first part of next year, with two quarters of negative growth, Moynihan said an interview with CNN on Tuesday.
Inflation is still higher than the Federal Reserve wants, which means the central bank will need to keep raising rates, he said.
BofA’s network has shrunk to 3,800 branches from 6,100 in the last decade, while its consumer deposits have almost doubled to $1 trillion.
It is renovating locations with larger waiting areas, office spaces for client meetings and less prominent teller windows. That corresponds to a 50% decline in foot traffic for transactions from 2019, versus a 90% surge in appointments.
“We have put in place almost 30,000 bankers and specialists that help clients every day with their life priorities,” Aron Levine, its president of preferred banking, told Reuters.
Holly O’Neill, Bank of America’s president of retail banking, said last month that she expects good performance for the unit in the second quarter.
The company will report results on July 18.
Reporting by Saeed Azhar and Lananh Nguyen, editing by Deepa Babington
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