Despite a slip in revenues BofA managed to post a rise in profits this week and is seeking to offset results from poorer performing business lines within the bank by strengthening its wealth management business. Over the last 6 quarters BofA has consistently added to its army of wealth advisers bringing the total to 18,037.
While revenues in the wealth and investment management division also dropped from a year earlier, expenses did not, with the bank increasing its army of wealth advisers for the sixth consecutive quarter to 18,037. Across the bank, headcount dropped about 15,000 from a year earlier, to 215,000, as it continued to wind down a portfolio of about $29bn of unwanted assets carried over from the financial crisis while making further cuts to the retail branch network. The results show that while BofA has put much of the trauma of the crisis behind it — beating analysts’ quarterly profit forecasts for the fourth period in a row — it is still struggling to generate growth in an environment of low interest rates and patchy capital markets activity.