Racist Ruins Bank Of America's Vaunted "Spirit Day"


This didn't go over so well.

What not to wear on Halloween: A white hood, over your head, at the office, before an African-American, especially if you work for one of the nation's largest banks. I know. I should not have to say this. Yet this is allegedly what happened at Bank of America's mortgage office in Greenwood Village, on "Spirit Day," Sept. 17. An e-mail had circulated through the office days earlier: 'Wear your wacky hats Join in the fun!" Richard Brown, an assistant vice president, allegedly took the invitation as an opportunity to don garb that at least one person perceived as Ku Klux Klan attire. Brown didn't return my phone call or e-mail to tell his side of the story. Bank of America spokeswoman Kelly Sapp said the bank takes discrimination claims seriously, that the matter is under investigation, and that appropriate action will be taken. "We don't tolerate attire of any sort that could be considered offensive in the workplace," she said. "Based on the facts as we currently understand them, we do not believe judgment consistent with Bank of America's standards and expectations was demonstrated." Lisa House, 44, a mortgage closer who worked as a contract employee, said she was on her way to the supply room when the sight of a hooded man terrified her. "It wasn't a hat," she said. "It was a mask. And I just sort of froze."



Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

Project New BAC continues, only now that it's worked out some of the initial kinks, management is going to fire people a lot faster that before. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 52, is relying on expense cuts to improve profit as mortgage losses and regulation squeeze revenue. The earlier phase of his efficiency plan, called Project New BAC, targeted $5 billion in costs and 30,000 jobs...The lender had 275,460 employees at June 30, compared with 278,688 on March 31 and about 288,000 at the end of last year’s second quarter. The number of banking centers in the U.S. fell by 148 in the 12 months ended June 30 to 5,594...The new round of cost cuts will come at a faster rate than the first phase, Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson said today on the call. The $3 billion in savings will probably be realized at about $1 billion per year, he said. Moynihan told employees in January that he expected Project New BAC to eliminate a total of $6 billion to $8 billion a year in expenses, Bloomberg News reported. The bank said today it’s on track to realize $1 billion of the cost savings from the first phase by the end of this year. [Bloomberg]