Bank of America has shipped one of its top executives, Thong Nguyen, from its Charlotte headquarters to San Francisco as it looks to boost it mobile payments technology by forging partnerships and making acquisitions.
Co-head of consumer banking Nguyen has already moved to the West Coast and taken up the additional title of enterprise payments executive, according to the Charlotte Observer.
The decision to move one of CEO Brian Moynihan’s top lieutenants closer to Silicon Valley is designed to build relationships with tech firms as BofA seeks to win a bigger share of the fast-growing but competitive mobile payments sector.
Nguyen told the Wall Street Journal that he will be looking at partnerships with tech firms but also possible acquisitions of fintech startups, a departure for BofA, which has not bought a single company since 2009.
Moynihan instituted a 'no acquisitions' policy after the bank got its fingers burnt during the financial crisis but has now decided to make an exception for smaller deals related to fintech - one of the few obvious growth opportunities in the industry, says the Journal.
Last week BofA was one of the first banks to offer real-time peer-to-peer money transfers to consumer mobile phones over the clearXchange network.