For the long time the Bank of America has been known for the outstanding quality of its services. It has been leading service provider in America and most parts of the world. It provides a wide range of professional services including cards processing, retail banking, corporate banking, asset management and investment services. This essay will provide a competitive analysis that will consider current industry environment and evaluate the industry profile. The analysis will look into industry trends and state the position of the company among its competitors.
The Bank of America is the leader in the world banking industry because of continuous development of new offered services and new banking technology implementation. It was established by Peter Giannini and his son in 1904. The bank was initially established as the bank of Italy and it was based in San Francisco, California. The aim of establishing this bank was to help small scale farmers in Italy to get loans so as to expand their businesses (Nyoz, 2008). Today, the bank serves over fifty-nine million customers worldwide with approximately 6,100 banking offices and 19,000 ATMs. The headquarter of the bank is currently located in Charlotte, North Carolina in the United States. The bank is under the leadership of Brian Moynihan as the CEO and he is assisted by seventeen members of staff as the board of directors (Nyoz, 2008).
The Bank is aimed to provide high quality services in order to satisfy growing needs of its customers. The BoA provides both non-banking and banking services to all its consumers which include small and large scale businesses, individuals, governments and corporations around the world. Some of the services offered include investments, risk and finance management, banking and assets management. The bank is specialized in savings to individuals and organizations, checking, offering mortgages, lending loans to students, offering retirement and insurance services.
In addition to this, the BoA is known for its raising capital services for those who want to start businesses, business banking, issuing credit to corporate, managing cash and trading. Besides, the bank also offers gift cards and special visa cards for business organizations. The organizations use these cards to reward employees whose performances are extraordinarily outstanding in various sections of their work. The Bank of America also gives Government Travel Cards to its consumers with which they can make online payments wherever they are.
To ensure that the bank is effective and sufficient in providing these services to its consumer, the services have been grouped into various segments: the deposits segment, the global cards, insurance and loan, global banking, global markets and investment and wealth management segment (Nyoz, 2008). The deposit segment deals with the generation of saving accounts, deposits certificates issuing, retirement accounts maintaining for individuals, as well as ensuring the maintenance of saving accounts for money markets. The next segment is the card services. It was established specifically to handle issues pertaining to the issuing of cards to the United State’s consumers and businesses. It also handles debit and international card services in addition to lending services. The Bank of America has an insurance and home loan segment which enables its consumers to access real estate services and products such as loans for mortgage, credit lines for homes, equity loans and reverse mortgages. This segment also provides insurance services to individuals, properties, credit, life insurance, casualty, disability etc. (Nyoz, 2008).
Another segment that has made to stand out in the global banking sector is high quality lending services and products, such as leasing, real estate and asset lending, giving commercial loans, financing businesses, offering both indirect and direct loans to consumers and pledge facilities. The segment is also known for giving reliable solutions to treasury and capital management. Such solutions include investment options on short-term basis, equity and debt distribution, advisory services on merger-related issues, foreign exchange services and treasury supervision (Nyoz, 2008). There is also the global market sector which serves as the coordinating body for providing finances, offering advice to both individuals and companies, clearing securities, settlement services as well as safekeeping services. Last one is the investment and wealth management segment which provides brokerage and investment services, management of estates, monetary planning, banking and credit expertise and benefit management services (Nyoz, 2008).
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We can easily determine whether the Bank of America is a private or a public corporation. To start with, the bank was established by an individual who saw the problems of the young farmers and saw the urgency of helping them getting some loans in order to boost their businesses. Thus, unlike any public corporation, which is established by the government and for the government, the Bank of America is established by an individual for the other individuals. Looking closely at the issue of shares and membership, the bank was owned by the Giannini family and some few shareholders. In addition, its shares are not freely traded in the stock market, thus making them not open to the public. Therefore, it can be stated with confidence that the Bank of America is a private corporation according to the definitions given by Yalden (Yalden, 2008).
Although the BoA is one of the biggest banks in the whole world, it still does not set any unified goal for its international development. It is evident, that the organization has chosen broad areas for its mission. It focuses on the neighborhoods and communities development, which are necessary for the sustainable growth of the bank. (Nyoz, 2008).
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There are several advantages that make the bank very competitive in the US market. Huge number of acquisitions in recent years brought the Bank of America to the leading position in the USA market. The Bank of America’s reputation is stable and solid thanks to the development of community relations. Nationwide banking centers and the ATM network are now established by the bank. The financial performance of the bank is strong and stable and continuous efforts are taken to provide latest innovations in its products and services (Nyoz, 2008).
On the other hand, equity markets make the Bank of America lose some advantages among its competitors. Certain structural problems are caused by continuous growth and coast-to-coast offices distribution. The reputation of the BoA was hurt by several scandals and lawsuits. Some scandals envolved gender discrimination accusation, when three women advisors claimed that the bank discriminated all women working for it by not giving them equal opportunities. The case was filed on 30th March, 2010 in the federal court by Adam Klein, the plaintiffs’ lawyer (Feminist Wire, 2010). Another case was filled on 5 April, 2010 by Hagens Berman Solob Shapiro LLP, a law firm that deals with the rights of consumers and class-action (Enhanced Online News, 2010). The firm claimed that the bank was deliberately withholding finances that were meant to liberate homeowners from home foreclosures. Among other major problems are excessive fees imposed on its customers for the overdrafts and compromised integrity of the organization due to some phishing schemes.
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While the overall level of the services offered by Bank of America is greatly improved, certain areas of the operation have to be worked on. To be more precise, the BoA offered online banking services are still not absolutely competitive to the services offered by other companies. The management of the bank implements special strategies to make the efficiency of online banking growth (Nyoz, 2008).
In conclusion, the Bank of America is one of the leading world banks. The bank is currently governed by Brian Moynihan as the CEO with seventeen members of the board of directors under him. With a strong leadership team since the beginning, the bank has managed to serve over fifty-nine million customers all over the world with approximately six thousand banking offices and nineteen-thousand Automated Teller Machines (ATMs). The Bank of America’s main goal is to ensure quality services to its consumers. Following this, the bank has ensured that it lives up to its promises by ensuring that it gives the best to its customers. Therefore, the bank offers a wide range of products and services to its worldwide consumers. The number of the customers is continuously growing, so the Bank of America provides new methods of the market research in order to develop new opportunities and enhance its services.
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Although service charges vary in each state and region comparing to other financial industry services, the BoA’s rates are highly competitive. Some financial organizations offer special rates of private interests, which are below those of the Bank of America (Nyoz, 2008), however, their prime rates are often above the level offered by the BoA. Therefore, the conclusion can be drawn in the case, that low-cost pricing strategy utilized by the Bank of America keeps it highly competitive on the global market.