Bank of America will be expanding services for small businesses

Bank of America has gotten some grief that it doesn’t help small businesses enough, so they’ve decided to do something. The bank said Thursday that it was hiring 1,000 small-business bankers to work in branches throughout the country.

These new bankers aren’t going to be simply loan officers, they’ll be doing a fair amount for small businesses. According to BofA, they’ll reach out to local businesses with a variety of financial products and services, including bank accounts, payroll systems, pension plans and credit cards, along with loans.

“We really are expanding our capabilities and enhancing the service to small businesses,” Kerrie Campbell, Bank of America’s top small-business executive, said. “These folks will be in our local communities, living and working in the communities that they serve.”

The move is one of several such initiatives announced by the bank recently, including promising to increase lending to small and medium-size companies, and choosing its own contractors more frequently from among the ranks of smaller businesses.

In hiring the new bankers and placing them in branches — rather than in the office buildings where its commercial banking operations are located — BofA will be competing with the regional banks that currently serve most small-business needs.

The BofA pilot small-business programs will roll out over the next few months in Los Angeles, Dallas, Baltimore and Washington.

Most of the 1,000 bankers will be new hires to be brought on board in the next several months. They will be targeting companies with revenue of $250,000 to $3 million.

[LA Times]

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