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Bank of America enlists thousands of employees for wealth lending group

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Bank of America Corp created a new group in its global wealth and investment management division to focus on lending to rich clients, the company told Reuters on Monday.

Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan tapped April Schneider last month to lead the 3,500-person wealth management banking and lending group. She reports jointly to Andy Sieg, president of Merrill Wealth Management, and Katy Knox, president of the company’s private bank. “We will be the ultimate concierge service for advisers,” said Schneider, who previously held a wide-ranging strategic role that included capital planning, payment services and overseeing $4.5 billion of expenses across the company’s real estate portfolio.

The new organization will underwrite wealthy clients’ margin loans, securities lending, mortgages and vehicle loans. Its staff will work alongside financial advisers and private bankers, who will continue to handle investments and services such as estate planning and taxes. The new group comprises employees from the bank’s wealth and consumer units.

Deposits for Bank of America’s wealth and investment management division rose 5% to $348 billion in the second quarter from a year earlier, while loans rose 12% to $222 billion, according to an earnings filing.