Bank of America at Morgan Stanley Conference

Tom Montag – Chief Operating Officer

More uncertainty in the world than there’s been in a long time

“I was thinking about the world and how there is more uncertainty in the world than there’s been in a long, long time in a lot of ways. If you think about the Middle East situation which is a completely new situation and the problems there, obviously the soft Brexit, hard Brexit and what’s going to happen there. We have our issues here. We have North Korea, which is kind gone the back burner for a while, but still firing missiles, and of course you have the Brazil situation coming back again and you have the Russia situation, there is just so much uncertainty, even highlighted maybe yesterday by the treasury paper coming out which leads to more uncertainty as to whether those things will or will not be — will not come to fruition on what we’re doing. So I think for economic growth there is just so much uncertainty in the tax rules here. What’s going to happen there? I think people are just waiting. And so although the consumer seems to be growing at a relatively good pace, the corporate side just seems to be in that uncertain phase where they want more certainty in the world before they make the next decisions.”

Getting harder to differentiate between spending on business and spending on tech

“we’re trying to use some of the mobile expertise that we’ve developed in the consumer side, now into institutional side. So we hope to be able to have a good mobile offering. Remember, we can’t trade on the mobile, but the way we get information to people to our traders to our sales people to our clients, using some of the expertise we’ve developed in mobile. Hopefully on the institutional side we will be able to do that, but I don’t think [indiscernible], I think — the thing is the technology spend and business spend is getting closer and closer together, not farther and farther apart. It’s hard to differentiate between, well, are you investing in a new branch or is it the technology in the branch? Are you investing in — with clients, or you investing in a trading system, or is it in a mobile platform. It’s almost — well, you say tech dollars, but the tech dollars basically is the business in a lot of these places.”