Bank of America’s Moynihan: We need big banks to help grow the economy

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan sees his company’s biggest mission as helping the economy to grow. To make that happen, he said, the bank needs to stay big.

In an interview Thursday with CNBC, Moynihan said some of the measures being contemplated now to loosen up the financial system make sense.

But he also said other discussions about reinstituting a law that would separate commercial banking from investment banking are counterproductive.

“That, to me, is a bad policy decision, because you need large institutions to support your large companies and your large economies,” he said. “The reason why the U.S. banks are larger is because our economy is 30 to 40 percent (larger) than the next biggest. And by the way, the banks (that) are bigger than the U.S. banks in the world are the Chinese banks, because their economy’s big.”

BofA is the second-largest bank in the U.S. by assets and part of a cadre of big Wall Street institutions targeted by Washington politicians after the financial crisis. The interconnected nature of big financials helped exacerbate the crisis as liquidity issues spread through the system.

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