650 financial advisor trainees at Merrill Lynch have seen their jobs and training change dramatically due to the coronavirus crisis. Those future advisors are now being used to help answer calls from customers of Bank of America’s consumer and small business banking units.
Bank of America is in the midst of attempting to assign 5,000 workers to help address the rise in client support questions that have come about due to the economic chaos caused by the coronavirus crisis. Those 650 FA trainees are part of the company’s effort to move 3,000 staffers onto the phone to provide support for clients. BofA has already hired another 2,000 new employees to handle those and other tasks that have come to light due to the global crisis.
According to a Bank of America spokesperson, the financial advisor trainees “will remain as part of the training program, but their training activities will be put on hold.” Those trainees are already working remotely as they study for Finra licensing exams, which have been postponed due to shelter-in-place orders.
Bank of America appears to be one of the first institutions to attempt to redeploy wealth management employees to its consumer banking division. A spokesperson for Wells Fargo addressed a question about the bank making similar moves said, “Our advisors are very focused on serving their clients and we are not making changes at this time.”
Bank of America has not announced an end date for the trainees to return to their wealth management training programs.