CEO Brian Moynihan told CNBC that Bank of America account holders saw a strong increase in their balances during the Kovid period and still could not spend their epidemic-stimulus money.
In an interview with The World Economic Forum’s “Squawk Box” in Davos, Switzerland, the chairman of BofA said that customers were between $ 1,000 and $ 2,000 before the epidemic, now they have about $ 4,000 as of last month. If their average balance is $ 2,000 to $ 5,000 pre-covid, they now have about $ 13,000 as of April, he added.
Bank balances have risen monthly since last July, Moynihan said, predicting that people “probably” won’t start spending their stimulus check-boosted accounts right now.
The government has provided Covid relief funds throughout 2020 and 2021 to help blunt the economic effects of the epidemic, including unemployment, closed business and more. But most of those programs have since been brought back.
At the same time, rising inflation and its devastating effects on the stock market have raised questions about whether Americans’ savings are still intact during the height of the epidemic and whether they are still spending healthily.
Moynihan had earlier said in an interview with “Mad Money” in April that consumers had spent 13% more this March than the same month last year.
Yet, this increased spending does not seem to have upset consumers.
“In our customers’ balances, they have more money. In April, their balances increased compared to March, and in March they increased until the middle of last year,” Moynihan said from Davos on Monday.