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Bank of America capital markets co-head to lead commercial banking

People walk at a Bank of America's Tower in New York October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz
People walk at a Bank of America's Tower in New York October 24, 2012. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

By Rick Rothacker

(Reuters) - Bank of America Corp has named capital markets co-head Alastair Borthwick as its head of commercial banking, in a shuffling of veteran executives.

Borthwick, a former Goldman Sachs Group Inc executive who joined the bank in 2005, replaces Laura Whitley, who will take a position in consumer banking, according to a memo sent to employees. Commercial banking has been a bright spot for Bank of America, whose profits have been dragged down by mortgage-related losses since the financial crisis.

Borthwick will report to Tom Montag, the co-chief operating officer who runs global banking and markets operations. Lisa Carnoy remains the head of global capital markets.

Whitley, who has been with the bank more than 25 years, will become head of consumer services, operations and unsecured credit, reporting to David Darnell, the bank's co-chief operating officer who focuses on consumer and wealth management businesses. She will preside over call centers, consumer product operations, unsecured credit and collections, according to the memo.

Bank of America is under pressure to increase revenue in its signature consumer banking business, which is grappling with low interest rates and new regulations that have cut into income from fees. Revenue in consumer and business banking through the first nine months of 2012 fell 14 percent to $21.8 billion from the same period in 2011.

The bank is also recovering from a flap in late 2011 over a proposed $5 monthly debit card fee that it later canceled. Bank of America last month received the lowest customer satisfaction score among four big U.S. banks in the latest report by the American Customer Satisfaction Index, which interviewed customers across the United States.

Whitley's new role includes duties that were previously handled by two other executives. Long-time consumer banking executive Susan Faulkner has become the bank's enterprise risk executive, reporting to chief risk officer Terry Laughlin, and Tim Huval left the company to become chief human resources officer at insurance company Humana Inc .

Borthwick will be the bank's third head of commercial banking since the fall of 2011, when Darnell was promoted out of the spot to become co-chief operating officer, and Whitley took over the position.

Bank of America reports fourth-quarter earnings on Thursday. The bank's shares turned in the best performance in the Dow Jones Industrial Average <.DJI> in 2012, rising 109 percent. They are down 0.5 percent so far in 2013.

(Reporting By Rick Rothacker in Charlotte, North Carolina; Editing by Leslie Adler and Tim Dobbyn)

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