Board reshuffle puts pressure on BoA's Lewis

BANK of America (BoA) has appointed four outside directors to bolster its board&rsquo;s banking and financial expertise, after US regulators pushed the nation&rsquo;s largest bank to improve governance after a federal bailout.<br /><br />The shake-up increases pressure on chief executive Ken Lewis, who was stripped of his role as chairman in April after a surge in credit losses and the takeover of Merrill Lynch led to a federal bailout for BoA in January.<br /><br />The new directors include two former regulators: Susan Bies who was a Federal Reserve governor from 2001 to 2007, and Donald Powell, who chaired the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation from 2001 to 2005. The other new members are D Paul Jones, former chief executive of Compass Bancshares and William Boardman, a retired vice chairman of Bank One, now part of JPMorgan Chase.<br /><br />Regulators had pushed North Carolina-based Bank of America to overhaul its 18-person board, and more changes have not been ruled out.<br /><br />Last week, Lewis agreed to testify on Thursday before US lawmakers to discuss when he knew Merrill was on its way to a $15.84bn (&pound;9.94bn) fourth-quarter loss, the government role in the purchase, and the $20bn bailout.