Not All of Bank of America Is Getting Pink Slips as 300 New FSAs Are Hired in Texas and Florida

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Bank of America today announced that it reached its goal of doubling the number of Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisors (FSAs) to more than 1,000 nationwide by the end of 2011.

With the addition of nearly 300 new hires across Texas and Florida, more than 1,200 FSAs are now working in banking centers throughout the United States or in the Merrill Edge Advisory Center. This comes at a time when other units within the bank are being downsized.

The new FSA hires are part of Bank of America's overall commitment to increase the staff of advisors offering financial solutions and guidance to customers with investable assets of $50,000 to $250,000, which they call their "Preferred Customers."

"At the beginning of the year, we committed ourselves to enhancing our services and offerings to meet the complex needs of our Preferred customers," said Dean Athanasia, Preferred and Small Business Banking executive at Bank of America. "By increasing the number of FSAs in banking centers and in the Merrill Edge Advisory Center, our customers have access to best-in-class banking and investment solutions, unmatched access and convenience and the availability of specialists when and where they prefer."

Preferred customers are among the fastest-growing segments in the financial services industry. Bank of America does business with more than eight million of them. Among their top priorities, according to a survey of clients, include:

- Wanting a better retirement than their parents

- Access to both banking and investing solutions

- Maintaining the ability to track and manage their money.

Nearly 65 FSAs were added in Florida banking centers. They'll serve customers in Boca Raton, Ft. Lauderdale and Sarasota. In addition, approximately 155 FSAs were hired in the Merrill Edge Advisory Center in Jacksonville, bringing the FSA Florida statewide total to more than 350.

In Texas, more than 60 FSAs have been added to banking centers in 20 cities, including Austin, Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.

Earlier this year, FSAs were hired in Arizona, Georgia, Massachusetts, New York, North Carolina and Pennsylvania. It will continue expanding to additional markets in 2012.