Bank of America plans to raise its starting pay to $20 an hour over a two-year period, the bank said Tuesday, starting with a hike next month.
The company said it is raising its minimum hourly wage to $17 on May 1 and will continue to increase pay until it hits $20 an hour in 2021.
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Bank of America joins other Wall Street banks that have raised hourly wages following U.S. President Donald Trump's move to cut corporate tax rates in 2017.
At JPMorgan Chase, CEO Jamie Dimon used his annual letter to shareholders, which is read by people both inside and outside the banking industry, to sell shareholders on the wages and benefit increases JPMorgan had made to employees a year ago. Bank of America has more than 205,000 employees and is Texas' second-largest bank, with $121 billion in deposits.
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On May 1, the minimum hourly wage will rise by 2 dollars to 17 dollars, the bank said.
A Bank of America logo is pictured in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., January 30, 2019. The additional $3 raise will happen over the course of the next two years.
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"The job market is very healthy, and this is one way to help employee retention", said Ken Leon, director of equity research at CFRA Research, said of Bank of America's announcement. JPMorgan Chase, the country's biggest bank, raised hourly pay rates for some employees to between $15 and $18, CEO Jamie Dimon said in his prepared statement for the hearing tomorrow. The executives are expected to be questioned by House Democrats about the safety of the financial system, whether big banks should be broken up, and their financing of private prisons and gun manufacturers. Bank of America, for example, reported a profit of $28 billion a year ago and increased the dividends it paid to shareholders. Because of financial reform, "today the USA financial system is substantially safer and more resilient against failure or disruptions".