New BOFA CEO calls for balance

Jan. 4, 2010 at 2:39 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Jan. 4 (UPI) -- The new chief executive officer of Bank of America drew his line in the public sand Monday, stating growth in U.S. banking helped topple financial stability.

In an opinion piece published in The Charlotte (N.C.) Observer, Brian Moynihan, who took over as president and CEO of the bank Monday, said "too much growth in financial services was no doubt a big factor," in the bust of the financial bubble that began to turn the economy around in 2007.

"The recent surge of growth in financial services went way to far," he said.

Moynihan offered four options for finding "the sensible middle, where growth and stability meet."

Moynihan suggested balancing "the need for credit with responsible lending." He called for "clarity, consistency and simplicity" in banking, and an aggressive response to the home mortgage crisis. He also said banks should "make sure we never need government support again."

Moynihan did not outline specific steps for the bank to take, noting "higher capital levels, lower leverage and more conservative underwriting are all part of the answer."

"We are addressing these issues and support regulators' efforts to ensure that all banks do the same," he wrote.

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