The surprisingly rosy picture at Bank of America

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Here's some bright and colourful graphics to cheer you up on a Friday afternoon (provided you work for Bank of America Merrill Lynch). It's just posted an income of $3.2bn for Q1, driven largely by strong results in its investment bank.

First a nod to its fixed income, currency and commodities income, which brought in record revenues of $5.5bn:

Bank of America1

Source: Bank of America

Here's a breakout of its staff costs, which rose slightly on the same period last year to come in at just above $9.1bn:

Bank of America2

Source: Bank of America

The bank doesn't break out compensation expenses for its investment bank, but Bloomberg suggested in February that average comp per head was $400k this year.

Is it recruiting?

So, where is it hiring? Again, the bank wasn't exactly flush with details in this respect. However, it's expected to start building its financial institutions group following some key resignations earlier this year.

BoA has also been busy recruiting for its fixed income, currencies and commodities teams (perhaps not surprisingly), with a particular focus on the latter where it intends to increase headcount by 25% over the next 2-3 years.

Financial News also suggests that it's aiming to hire 10 dealmakers across Europe. As we noted earlier, it hasn't performed too well in European M&A during the first quarter.

Outside of the investment bank, BoA is also looking to expand its corporate banking presence in both Asia and Europe.

In fact, according to reports, it's recruiting across its global operations and is even one of the most generous payers.

The reason for its better-than-expected results, it says, is down to improving credit quality, which allowed BoA to narrow its provision for credit losses by $3.6bn from a year ago.

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