Bank of America bolsters perks for bigger depositors, investors; it's at it again

Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2011 10:33 am
September 21, 2011
Bank of America bolsters perks for bigger depositors, investors
By Rick Rothacker | McClatchy Newspapers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Bank of America Corp. this week is rolling out extra perks for customers in nine states who do extensive banking and investment business with the Charlotte-based bank.

The Platinum Privileges program gives customers access to a specialized customer service center, preferred pricing on products such as retirement accounts, and other discounts and fee waivers. It's for clients who have $50,000 or more in deposits or investments with the bank.

After testing the program in Arizona, Georgia and Massachusetts, Bank of America is expanding it to nine other states this month: Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Another expansion will occur in November; the nationwide rollout will be completed next year.

The program is part of an array of new bundled accounts the bank has been testing since the beginning of this year. The bank in some cases is adding monthly fees as it looks to recoup revenue lost under new financial regulations, but Platinum Privileges comes with no extra charge.

The program is meant as a reward for customers who do more business with the bank, said Dean Athanasia, Bank of America's preferred and small business banking executive.

"If you bring your relationship to us, we want to make sure we give you value back," said Athanasia, a Boston-based executive who joined the bank when it bought FleetBoston Financial in 2004.

The testing in the first three states showed customers brought more assets to the bank and purchased more products, Athanasia said. Customer satisfaction scores also climbed, he said.

Eligible customers will receive "welcome packets" in the mail as well as a call from the bank. Customers will also notice promotions in Bank of America branches, on its web site and in other publications.

Like other financial services firms, Bank of America is eager to attract affluent clients who keep bigger balances and have more complex banking needs. Athanasia leads the bank's "preferred" banking segment, which targets customers with $50,000 to $250,000 in investable assets. About 8 million of the bank's customers fit that category but not all of them keep enough assets at the bank to qualify for Platinum Privileges.

Bank of America is rolling out the new program amid a management shake-up that included the departure of consumer and small business banking head Joe Price.

Read more: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2011/09/21/124834/bank-of-america-bolsters-perks.html#ixzz1YhRBmtK8
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Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2011 01:16 pm
Personal banking is nothing new, but I'm surprised the privilage extends to depositors with as little as $50,000 in the bank. One of my minor chores was making occasional bank deposits. One time, the deposit total exceeded a million dollars. They let me have one, count it - one Tootsi Pop.

I'm also aware that a few large banks have come up with what amounts to a negative interest rate for the very largest depositors. Companies are rat holing cash in demand accounts which the banks are not able to use for long term investments.
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Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2011 01:44 pm
BOA is the worst bank of any my wife and I had deal with over the years as far as customer service in concern and figuring out how to do simple and common tasks by way of thier online banking website is a nightmare.

Oh and thier fees are annoy as they made you pay to transfer funds to a "foriegn" bank however they are nice enough not to charge if the funds transfer is going to them instead.
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Reply Thu 22 Sep, 2011 02:02 pm
I remember reading this story many many years ago and did a fast internet search to find it without luck so from memory only here it is.

In the 1960s N Rockefeller went into a branch of BOA in Paris and tries to withdraw ten thousands dollars for walking around money.

The clerks gave him a very hard time about proving his ID before they would give him the funds and all in all was very impolite to him.

So after leaving the bank he either wire or call his business agent and instructed him to withdraw a hundred millions dollars or so at once from BOA.

BOA bank management had a number of heart attacks and I am fairly sure the Paris clerks that had deal with him hear about the matter also.

Every time I need to deal with that bank I think of that story.
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