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Bank of America to review long-hours culture after intern's death

Aug. 23, 2013 at 11:37 AM   |   Comments

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LONDON, Aug. 23 (UPI) -- Bank of America Merrill Lynch said it will review its culture of long hours following the death of a German intern this week in its London office.

Moritz Erhardt, 21, died working 72 hours straight.

In a statement Friday, the financial institution expressed shock at the death of Erhardt, who was working in Merrill Lynch's investment banking division, and announced the review.

Erhardt was found dead in a shower stall at his living quarters in east London last week, The Guardian reported.

The death of the "dedicated" student reverberated in the global financial community as reports of his alleged long hours of work sparked debate about the culture of grueling hours in some financial divisions.

"Our immediate priority is to do everything we can to continue to support the Erhardt family, our interns and impacted employees at this extremely difficult time," the Bank of America statement said. "We have also convened a formal senior working group to consider the facts as they become known, to review all aspects of this tragedy, to listen to employees at all levels and to help us learn from them."

A BOA spokesman said the panel would review "all aspects of working practices with a particular focus on our junior population. We're going to look at everything."

He said he didn't know how long the panel would take to complete its study.

Circumstances surrounding Erhardt's death haven't been officially determined, The Guardian said.

The coroner's court told the Guardian no decision had been made about whether an inquest would proceed. A toxicology report conducted as part of the autopsy has yet to be filed.

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