BofA CEO may be based outside Charlotte: report

A sign for the Bank of America is seen outside a branch in Vienna, Virginia October 16, 2009. REUTERS/Larry Downing

CHARLOTTE, North Carolina (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp BAC.N is considering allowing its next chief executive to be based in a city other than Charlotte, North Carolina, the bank's long-time headquarters, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

The bank has broadened its search to find a replacement for retiring CEO Ken Lewis to include executives who want to live in New York, Bloomberg reported.

The board is concerned that it cannot create a deep pool of applicants willing to move to Charlotte, once home to two of the nation’s largest banks, the report said.

Bloomberg cited former Bank of America CEO Hugh McColl’s October 22 comments at a Queens University of Charlotte meeting. McColl said it wasn’t certain the new CEO would be based in Charlotte.

The news comes as the bank’s ties to Charlotte are weakening. The only North Carolina-based director left on the board is Lewis, after a dramatic overhaul of the board this year, and the company’s earnings are increasingly generated by business units located outside Charlotte.

Merrill Lynch’s investment bank and wealth management businesses, for example, are concentrated in New York, with Global Wealth and Investment Management head Sallie Krawcheck based there.

Reporting by Joe Rauch; editing by John Wallace