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Bank of America’s Moynihan says his bank stands ready to work with Biden

Lananh Nguyen and Sridhar Natarajan

Wall Street isn’t waiting for President Donald Trump to concede, with top banking leaders turning their focus to business under a Joe Biden administration.

“We are ready to work with this administration, as we have been working with administrations for over 200-plus years in this company’s history,” Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan said at the opening of the company’s Future of Financials 2020 virtual conference Monday, congratulating Biden and running mate Kamala Harris on their victory. “We look forward to working on the big problems that face the world.”

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan, left, and President Donald Trump listen during a meeting with banking industry executives on March 11, 2020.

While Trump’s administration could slow down transition efforts by not acknowledging Biden’s victory as the president continues to dispute the results, big U.S. companies are moving on. JPMorgan Chase & Co. CEO Jamie Dimon issued a statement Saturday saying Americans must “honor the decision of the voters and support a peaceful transition of power.”

The U.S. political situation is more predictable after Biden’s win, but a divided Congress may result in lower levels of stimulus than had been expected if Democrats achieved a broader blue-wave victory, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. Chief Financial Officer Stephen Scherr said at the conference. The election results also call into question the pace and magnitude of tax-policy change, said Scherr, who contributed to the Biden campaign.

“Given the longevity of the president-elect in the Senate, the possibility even in a divided government nonetheless producing a more engaged level of cooperation, I think, is a positive to be read by the market,” Scherr said. Politics will now take a back seat to the pandemic – and prospects for a vaccine – as economic drivers, he said.

Biden is moving ahead with plans to address the Covid-19 pandemic and shape his incoming administration, steps aimed at strengthening his claim on the White House. Largely ignoring Trump’s efforts to undermine his victory, the president-elect on Monday unveiled his transition team’s coronavirus task force.

Other executives from the financial industry are slated to speak at the virtual event over the next two days.