BANK of America (BoA) has appointed four outside directors to bolster its board’s banking and financial expertise, after US regulators pushed the nation’s largest bank to improve governance after a federal bailout.
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.
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.
Regulators had pushed North Carolina-based Bank of America to overhaul its 18-person board, and more changes have not been ruled out.
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 (£9.94bn) fourth-quarter loss, the government role in the purchase, and the $20bn bailout.