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Bank of America appoints Moynihan as new chief

BANK of America has promoted Brian Moynihan to be its new chief executive with the task of nursing the conglomerate back to health.

The appointment of Moynihan – who heads the bank’s retail division – follows the retirement of Kenneth Lewis.

His promotion comes after the bank posted two quarterly losses in the past year after 20 consecutive profit-making years.

The bank's board had searched for a CEO for four months before turning to an insider.

Moynihan, 50, was criticised by a US congressional committee over his response to a grilling over the bank’s purchase of Merrill Lynch.

US House Rules and Oversight Committee chairman Edolphus Towns claimed the banker “didn’t show

the kind of leadership the bank would seem to need.”

The new chief, who will officially take over on 31 December, said he did not envisage any major changes at the bank.

He added: “We need to put the last 18 months behind us. Now is the time to execute. This company has a long tradition of operational excellence and strong execution.

My goal is to refocus our efforts and attention on those core capabilities that will make us the best financial services firm in the world.”

Moynihan joined BoA when the bank took over his employer FleetBoston Financial in 2004.

His main rival for the top job at BoA was chief risk officer Greg Curl, 61.