by: Jim Bradley Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Are the days numbered for Bank of America's headquarters in Charlotte??
Leaders and banking experts are chiming in after a nationally known bank analyst suggested the possibility this week.
Analyst Dick Bove was quoted as saying the move could take place within five years because while in the past "Bank of America's leadership was solidly based in Charlotte. Now top executives are coming from FleetBoston.”
That's the same bank that produced current BofA CEO Brian Moynihan.
Local banking analyst Tony Plath said Charlotte shouldn't take Bank of America's uptown headquarters for granted.
"Look at the facts. The power structure of the bank is clearly shifted at the board level and the senior management level," Plath said. "I don't think Charlotte can rest on its laurels and get too complacent about the fact that this headquarters is here in perpetuity because essentially the people that control the bank aren't Charlotte-centric anymore."
Many of the most recent additions to Brian Moynihan's senior management team have ties either to Boston or New York, rather than Charlotte. Charlotte Mayor Pro Tem Michael Barnes says in some ways it's like the bank's headquarters has already left.
"It's felt that way for a while, " Barnes said, "I mean, the board is not at all Charlotte focused anymore."
No one is suggesting that Bank of America is taking its headquarters elsewhere anytime soon. If they ever do, Charlotte economist John Connaughton expects most of the 15,000 local jobs will stay in town.
“I don't see that changing. They've got the infrastructure here and they're got the people here and I don't see that changing very much. The retail banking is run out of Charlotte," Connaughton says.
Still, a loss of Charlotte's most visible headquarters would tarnish the city's image. Plath thinks it remains a real possibility.
"Down the road. Not in the next year or two. But down the road in the long term I think a move of the headquarters is on the table,” Plath said.
Bank of America responded and said, "Charlotte remains our headquarter's city and we have no intention of changing that."