How Bank of America is dealing with Trump’s 'unusual administration'

- April 17, 2018

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Even as Bank of America finds favor with President Donald Trump over corporate tax cuts, the company’s vice chairwoman says it isn’t – and won’t be – in complete alignment with the White House on all other business matters.

“This is an unusual administration by any measure,” Anne Finucane said on the latest episode of Women Rule. “There are benefits and there are places where we don’t agree.”

One of the net positives of the Trump presidency for the bank: the $1.5 trillion tax law enacted late last year.

Immediately following the bill’s passage in December, the company celebrated by announcing that about 145,000 employees would see a bump in their paychecks, receiving a one-time $1,000 bonus. And according to one New York Times analysis, Bank of America is expected to save $2.7 billion in 2018 from the lower corporate tax rate.


For Finucane, the tax law meant that the bank “can invest more.”

“We can hire more people, better wages, et cetera,” she said.

But Finucane noted at least one major difference between the bank and the administration’s policy priorities: Bank of America, the vice chair said, would stay faithful to its environmental initiatives and would continue to invest in green businesses.

“We are going to stay the course on our environmental commitment on COP 21,” she said, referring to the Paris climate accord, which the White House pulled out of last year. “We’re aware that the administration is not favoring that, but we made the commitment. We feel that it’s a good business opportunity.”

The bank, which has pledged to invest $125 billion in green businesses and bonds by 2025, believes that “to be a citizen of communities, or a citizen of the world, that we have to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions and it’s real,” Finucane said. “We all have to do our part.”

Asked how the bank is planning to deal with Washington more generally, Finucane preferred to remain administration-agnostic.


“I think that, happily, we have the ability to think independently,” she said. “We are trying to navigate it with an eye toward the long term, not toward one administration versus another.”

And Finucane noted that when it comes to partnerships with other branches of government, the bank was focused on some areas over others, like cybersecurity.

“I think we do have a partner in Washington,” she said. “The banks have put a lot of money - billions of dollars - into cybersecurity. And I do think there is an association both with legislative branch, administrative branch and security in general.”


 

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