Former Bank Of America Chairman Emeritus Chad Gifford Defends Big Banks

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Chad Gifford, former chairman of Bank of America, and previously CEO of FleetBoston. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)
Chad Gifford, former chairman of Bank of America, and previously CEO of FleetBoston. (Robin Lubbock/WBUR)

"We are at a point today, that if a systemically important financial institution in the United States were to experience severe distress, it would be resolved in an orderly way," said Martin Gruenberg, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation at the end of last month.

But the FDIC and the Federal Reserve also said in a report that five of the nation's largest banks — including Bank of America — have failed to convince regulators that they have credible plans in case of another major financial crisis. In other words, the banks might still be "too big to fail."

One major local banker takes issue with that analysis. And he says that big banks are actually incredibly important to helping the country weather the next crisis.

Chad Gifford is a 50-year veteran of the New England banking industry. He rose through the ranks to become CEO of BankBoston, then FleetBoston Financial and, eventually, chairman of the board of Bank of America in 2004. Since then, he's served on the board of Bank of America, and at the end of last week he retired from that post.

We spoke with him in an office 32 stories above Boston's financial district.


Chad Gifford, former chairman emeritus of Bank of America, which tweets @BankofAmerica.


The Boston Globe: Chad Gifford To Retire From Bank Of America Board

  • "Gifford, 73, has served on Bank of America’s board since 2004 after he helped engineer the sale of FleetBoston Financial Corp., where he was chief executive, to the Charlotte-based giant. He served as Bank of America’s chairman from April 2004 to January 2005, and is a longtime ally of the bank’s chief executive, Brian Moynihan, who also was an executive at FleetBoston."

This segment aired on May 3, 2016.


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