Bank of America CEO to focus on digital investments, crypto at Congressional testimony

Drew Angerer

Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan is set to discuss the lender’s deepening involvement in both its digital investments and cryptocurrency research, among other topics, when he appears at Wednesday’s House Committee on Financial Services hearing.

Moynihan will highlight the bank’s plan for 2022 to invest $3.5B “in initiatives to enhance our platform, fund next-gen projects, and extend our digital leadership into the future,” according to his prepared testimony.

That comes as its digital banking platform keeps seeing increased access in client adoption and engagement, the BofA chief will point out, adding that more than 1B user log-ins took place in July, “our largest single month in history.”

Recall in 2018 when BAC introduced Erica, its AI-driven virtual assistant in financial services. Total Erica interactions for BAC clients rose threefold to 427M in 2021. Zelle, meanwhile, is a digital payments product of Early Warnings Services, owned by Bank of America alongside a handful of America’s largest banks. During 2021, the number of clients who were active Zelle users climbed 23% to 15.8M, Moynihan will say.

Within the emerging crypto space, “through careful client selection, we are engaging in dialogues regarding capital raising, M&A, and other banking services with select companies involved in the digital asset ecosystem,” he will say. “We are exploring the use of this [blockchain] technology in multiple areas, including, tokenizing internal client documents, Instant Cross Border Payments, bank accounts, and looking at ways to give workers quicker access to their earned funds.”

Elsewhere in his testimony, Moynihan will highlight the lender’s move to reducing its customers’ overdraft fees in a common effort among the banking sector to improve customer loyalty. In January, BofA lowered its overdraft fees and ended non-sufficient fund fees at a time when fintechs were competing for their clients.

By 2023, “new solutions and enhanced programs introduced over the last decade will reduce consumer overdraft fees by 97% from 2009 levels,” BAC’s CEO will say. Consumer checking account customers already saw overdraft-related fees fall 90% Y/Y in June and July.

Previously, (Sep. 7) Bank of America names Burkhardt next strategy chief for global i-banking.

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