CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Inside the Bank of America shareholder meeting wasn’t much different than being outside with protesters. The inside tone was defiant and angry as Chief Executive Officer Brian Moynihan fielded questions on the bank’s decision to invest in coal energy, foreclosure practices and loan modifications.
“Owning your stock is a comedy,” yelled one shareholder. Another called Bank of America a “felon.” The same man said Bank of America wouldn’t be afloat today is it weren’t for the “99 percent of taxpayer support.”
Moynihan responded by telling the crowd of 100 that “we abide by the law every day” and that as far as loan modifications are concerned, Bank of America processes “20,000 to 30,000 loan modifications a month, and so far has done about 1 million of them.”
Much of the crowd asked the CEO to reject any type of bonus. In reply, he said his compensation is in line with bank profits.
When the meeting started, the rules were laid out. No cameras, no phone pictures and you would only have two minutes to speak. In some cases, the microphone was actually pulled away from a speaker in mid sentence, forcing that person to finish their statement by yelling across the room.
Security officers were in plain clothes in the audience and responded to people who got visibly angry. The entire meeting lasted a little more than two hours and left many angry they didn’t get a chance to speak.