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BofA is New No.1 August 1, 2006

Posted by newyorkscot in Markets.
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With over $5.5billion in earnings in the 2nd quarter, Bank Of America is the most profitable financial institution in the world .. articles here:  Economist and Bloomberg

Now BofA is only $4billion behind Citigroup in market capitalization (BofA is now $234billion), versus being behind by $40billion a year ago. Interesting to see that BofA makes most of its money in the US through business and consumer banking as well as a large share of the loan-syndication market. Their online banking, credit cards and wide range of products  (and good old customer service) seems to be way ahead of the competition. They also have one of the largest Private Banks. Citi on the other hand, has a narrower retail business in the US (CA, TX, NT), sells more complex investment products, and has a bigger investment bank business, as well as global operations. Their acquisitions of with Fleet Boston Financial Group ($47bn) and MBNA ($32bn) helped to close the gap on Citi.

I wonder if BofA would expand its retail (and IB?) business globally, using a model like the Royal Bank Of Scotland (where it acquires local/regional banks, putting them onto its “IT platform” together with a carefully crafted re-branding exercise (e.g. Citizens bank’s logo is RBS). If the BofA retail IT infrastructure is that good, how scalable is it outside the US ? What is their appetite, if any, for non-US retail banking ?

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