We give the CEO of Bank of America a pretty hard time around here, but let it never be said in our company that Brian Moynihan is anything but a straight shooter.
So when he was interviewed at The Wall Street Journal’s CFO Network conference in Washington D.C. last night, it came as no surprise to us that he answered frankly about what it's like to be a banker in America today. According to BriMo, it kinda sucks the fat one:
Bank of America Chief Executive Brian Moynihan said Monday that given the current interest rate and regulatory environment, he wouldn't advise a group of investors to start a new bank.
"The idea of putting together money to start a bank … you are up against Bank of America, Wells [Fargo], and the great regional banks; I think it is very tough," Moynihan said here during an event sponsored by The Wall Street Journal.
Per a report from American Banker, BriMo didn't just stop at "New bank? I wouldn't," he also touched on the unfair burden put on smaller banks, the 80,000 people he's had to layoff from BofA, and the overall regulatory environment:
"The question then is over time, I think there will be people who will look at this and say, Is this insurance policy too large or too small?" Moynihan said. "The insurance policy right now is very strong in favor of safety and soundness and it should be, and then over time I think people will think it through."
“We could lend more money if the capital levels were different … the point is we can never have so much capital that we will never fail. That is where we are now," he said.
Essentially, he seems to be asking the The Fed how they expect him to lend when they want him to keep his piggy bank overflowing for their stress tests. And how do they want him to get smaller when he's already feeling pinched on the capital and liquidity fronts?
And can someone get BriMo a goddamn LATTE?!
So frustrated is the Eeyore of Wall Street that he almost seems ready to welcome our future robot overlords:
But Moynihan added that "mobile technology is going to be the biggest" game changer, while artificial intelligence could also change banking.
"The thing that I don't know if we know exactly where it goes is the impact of artificial intelligence and where that drives middle management, whether it drives capabilities in companies," he said. "That will be fascinating."
Brian Moyhihan is eager for the day when he can hand his problems to a stupid robot and head down to Florida forever.
Now Is Not a Good Time to Form a Bank: B of A's Moynihan [AmericanBanker]