BoA chief defends his track record

OUTGOING chief executive of Bank of America Ken Lewis yesterday defended his controversial tenure and said the bank is now primed to become a world-class company.<br /><br />&ldquo;I am confident history will show that our actions ... in building Bank of America positioned our company for future success,&rdquo; Lewis told analysts at a Bank of America Merrill Lynch conference in New York. &ldquo;As I look ahead, I see no reason that Bank of America will not be among the handful of the most important and most successful financial services companies in the world.&rdquo;<br /><br />Lewis said yesterday the Merrill Lynch merger is ahead of schedule and has produced $2.2bn (&pound;1.3bn) in cost savings through to September 30, more than originally forecast.<br /><br />He said Bank of America expects to achieve 45 per cent of the total cost savings by the end of this year, compared with the company&rsquo;s early projection of 25 per cent.<br /><br />Lewis has said he will retire at the end of the year, even though the bank has not decided who will succeed him.