Fairholme Capital portfolio manager Bruce Berkowitz, who counts Bank of America as his second largest holding, recently compared Bank of America to Wells Fargo (BAC) in a note to investors.
"We believe that America's bank is returning to its retail roots (think of Wells Fargo) with a $1 trillion deposit franchise and that bank profits will skyrocket as legacy real estate loans burn-off," Berkowitz wrote.
Rochdale Securities analyst Richard Bove, on the other hand, says Bank of America management has given him the impression they see technology and capital markets as the future of the franchise with retail taking a back seat."The future of the company in my view is not retail banking, nor is it lending money to large corporations," Bove said in an interview Thursday. In the same interview, Bove criticized recent Board nominees who he believes lack experience in those areas. "They're closing branches left and right; they're shutting down ATMs; they're dropping market share. If in fact they're going back to their retail roots, they've got a funny way of showing it," he said.
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