As part of its previously announced plan to appoint more than
1,000 small business bankers across the country,
Bank of America Corporation
) reported the recruitment of 138 such bankers in Florida. Of
these, 58 bankers were hired in South Florida, 34 in Central
Florida, 28 in Gulf Coast and the remaining in North Florida.
BofA's decision to hire small business bankers throughout the
country stems from the fact that small businesses were facing
difficulties in obtaining the expertise required for running
operations and maintaining finances. Hence, in 2010, the company
announced its plan to employ a wide number of such bankers.
Often, small business owners face unique and complex financial
demands. To understand the exclusive needs of these small business
owners, customized guidance and constant attention of small
business bankers are extremely essential. Therefore, BofA is hiring
these specialized bankers to tap the huge demand for personalized
help in the state.
Through BofA's small business bankers, small business owners will
be able to access local expertise and a dedicated resource that can
properly interpret its exclusive needs. Small business bankers will
evaluate the business owners' credit, deposits, payroll and cash
management needs besides providing guidance. This, in turn, will
enable these businesses to better manage its finances and work more
According to BofA, small businesses are critical to the overall
development of the economy. In spite of their significant
contribution to the economy, these do not have access to better
banking facilities. Therefore, the company took such an initiative
to sort out the problems faced by small businesses and provide
assistance to owners in order to ensure smooth facilitation of
their business operations.
According to the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), in
Florida, there are approximately 2 million small businesses. These
businesses account for more than 98% of all employers and employ
over 40% of the private-sector workforce. Moreover, almost 75% of
the state's gross domestic product (GDP) comes from these small
In these efforts, BofA has been constantly pursuing active lending
to small-scale firms. In the first half of 2012, the company
extended approximately $813.8 million (including $361 million in
new originations) in credit to small businesses across Florida.
Much like BofA,
JPMorgan Chase & Co.
) is also trying to accelerate the economic recovery by lending to
small businesses. In the first six months of 2012, it provided
credit of nearly $10 billion to small businesses and offered loan
and raised capital of more than $460 billion for its commercial and
Though BofA is hiring small business bankers, recently The Wall
Street Journal reported that the company is planning to layoff
nearly 16,000 employees by the end of this year in order to boost
its top-line growth. The job cuts are part of its 'Project New
BAC'- the efficiency improvement initiative launched to rationalize
its operations and shed non-core assets.
Currently, BofA retains a Zacks #3 Rank, which translates into a
short-term Hold rating. Considering the fundamentals, we also
maintain our long-term 'Neutral' recommendation on the stock.
BANK OF AMER CP (BAC): Free Stock Analysis
JPMORGAN CHASE (JPM): Free Stock Analysis
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