Credit and debit card spending is 20% higher this year than 2019, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan says

American shoppers are spending extra freely because the financial system opens up additional, Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan mentioned Monday.

Transaction volumes on clients’ credit score and debit playing cards and over the Zelle fee community have grown by 20% up to now in 2021 in comparison with this level in 2019, Moynihan informed CNBC’s Becky Quick on “Squawk Box.” The comparability excludes 2020, an irregular year in lots of respects as a result of the onset of the pandemic led to widespread stay-at-home orders.

“People got a lot of stimulus money and they’ve been spending it,” Moynihan mentioned. “The unemployment rate is coming down and people are going back to work. People can go to amusement parks, they can go on an inside-the-U.S. trip, they can go out to eat. You’re seeing everything open.”

When lawmakers handed President Joe Biden’s stimulus invoice in March, the overall quantity of coronavirus help reached $5 trillion, an enormous response to an unprecedented state of affairs. That helped the nation keep away from the wave of borrower defaults throughout bank cards, mortgages and auto loans that was anticipated on the onset of the pandemic.

Nearly all spending classes have recovered with the exception of journey, which is nonetheless as a lot as 15% decrease than in 2019, Moynihan mentioned. Bank of America is the second-biggest U.S. financial institution by property after JPMorgan Chase and has relationships with roughly half of American households.

Stimulus checks and bolstered unemployment advantages have pumped up clients’ checking accounts, Moynihan mentioned. Accounts with about $1,000 to $2,000 in common balances are “up 6 to 7 times what they were before the pandemic,” he mentioned.

“They’re starting to spend a little of that money,” Moynihan mentioned. “The money’s still there and they’re spending as they have opportunities.”

During the wide-ranging interview, Moynihan mentioned cybersecurity spending at his financial institution has climbed from round $300 million yearly when he began as CEO to properly over $1 billion a year.

He additionally mentioned that 60,000 workers within the U.S. have knowledgeable the financial institution of their vaccination standing and are being invited again to workplace work, a course of that can proceed via Labor Day.

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