Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is one of the most hated companies in America — and for good reason. BAC stock is down 50% this year and over 85% from its 2008 peak. Bank of America plans on instating a $5-per-month debit-card fee at the beginning of next year. It took billions in bailout money while regular Americans continue to face stagnant wages, runaway inflation and no relief from the brutal realities of both the housing market and job market.
But apparently Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan thinks we are all being a bit too hard on him and his cronies.
“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 to employees last week, according to a Bloomberg report. “You ought to think a little about that before you start yelling at us.”
Really? Do you really want us to think more about the antics of Bank of America and expect that reflection to benefit you?
OK, fine. Here are a few musings citizens are chewing over:
- Your predecessor, CEO Ken Lewis, was indicted by the SEC on civil charges but never faced jail time. Whatever fines and legal fees he ultimately will incur for his tenure are more than offset by a jaw-dropping $125 million severance package.
- Even as you proposed to gouge consumers with a $5 debit card fee, Bank of America wrote a final paycheck worth $6 million to former wealth-management division head Sallie Krawcheck. Another manager, Joseph Price, got a $5 million payday. That’s means the first 2.2 million debit-card charges will go solely to paying off these BofA lackeys.
- Your $5 fee just so happens to coincide with “tests” by JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) and Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) over a $3 fee, prompting calls for an investigation that the big dogs in the financial sector are colluding to roll out fees at the same time — browbeating consumers into suffering though the charges because there will be fewer alternatives.
- The government is suing BofA (along with 16 others) for its role in the mortgage debacle.
- Bank of America placed 28th out of 30 in a recent American Banker survey of bank reputations.
The list goes on. And through it all, the pompous Moynihan is due up to $10 million in performance-based cash and bonuses this year.
Sorry Brian. It’s not us — it’s you. And boneheaded comments like this one are just further proof that Bank of America’s hubris knows no bounds. Maybe you had a sympathetic audience among your employees when you made that asinine statement, but the rest of America isn’t fooled one bit.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com. Write him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP and become a fan of InvestorPlace on Facebook. As of this writing, he did not own a position in any of the aforementioned stocks.