Friday, April 6, 2012

BofA Continually Smaller in NM

The cover of the 2011 Bank of America annual report, received yesterday, says, “What’s next for Bank of America? We are transforming our company—making Bank of America simpler, more transparent, easier to do business with and focused on serving the needs of our customers and clients.”

Yeah, right.

The return of color photographs to the annual report may mean BofA feels better about itself. Xcel Energy has a different approach. Shareholders get one sheet of paper saying if you want this annual report and proxy stuff, you have to ask. No color photos, no paper at all.

Trying to sort through my mom’s BofA relationships after her mugging last year was not simple. I didn’t count the 800 numbers we called. The local staff was friendly and sort of helpful, but only up to a point. Finally, though, someone, somewhere, exercised a bit of authority and referred us to a man in Phoenix who said we were to talk to no one else at BofA and that he would take care of everything. And he did.

Woo hoo.

BofA’s history in New Mexico is one of getting smaller.

When BofA came into New Mexico in the late 1990s, it took over the market leadership of the old Sunwest Financial Services. Layoffs were one early decision. BofA gave me money and told me to go away. I did and was happy to go.

By June 30, 2000, positions switched. Wells Fargo had 107 offices, $2.45 billion in deposits and a 17.5% market share. BofA had 64 offices, $2.4 billion in deposits and 17% of the market.

Five years later on June 30, 2005, it was Wells: 103 offices; deposits, $4.2 billion; market share, 21.5%. BofA: 55 offices; deposits, $3.3 billion; market share, 16.8%.

The FDIC’s most recent market share report is for June 30,2011. Wells: 99 offices; deposits, $6.4 billion; market share, 24.4%. BofA: 47 offices; deposits, $3.8 billion; market share, 14.6%.

Rest assured, I wish BofA very well. The motive is entirely financial. It would be nice to have the dividend grow from the current Obama-mandated penny per share per quarter.

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