Bank of America, Merrill Lynch to launch video conferencing trials

Thursday, February 10 2011

In the aftermath of the financial crisis of 2008, many businesses have been looking for a way to cut back on costs without sacrificing customer service. Thanks to video conferencing technology, Bank of America may have found a way to do just that.

Bank of America announced recently that it plans to close some of its lowest-performing branches in an effort to save money and focus resources where they can be best used. Meanwhile, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based institution plans to trial video conference rooms where Merrill Lynch associates dispense advice to customers at other locations.

Branches in Los Angeles and the Washington, D.C., area will begin trials of the video conferencing rooms this month. The technology will allow them to speak with Merrill associates in Hopewell, New Jersey, Jacksonville, Florida, or Chandler, Arizona, Anne Pace, a spokeswoman for the bank, told Bloomberg.

Merrill Lynch, which targets customers with $50,000 to $250,000 in investable assets, hopes that the video conferencing will connect it to consumers who want to use its services, but may not know how. The technology makes it easy and convenient for consumers to connect with the best advisors for them - no matter how far away they may be.