BofA Drops US Trust, Merrill Lynch Brands, But Keeps The Bull

Feb 25, 2019

Bank of America is simplifying branding for its wealth management and private banking operations by retiring two brands it inherited in the late 2000s: Merrill Lynch and US Trust. But it's keeping the Merrill Lynch bull. 

Credit Bank of America

The bank said Monday the changes are part of its new unified branding strategy introduced last fall. That included a streamlined logo introduced in November. 

“We are committed to living our purpose and driving responsible growth on a unified basis for all we serve,” CEO Brian Moynihan said in a press release. “We are taking these next steps in the way our brand is seen over the coming weeks and months to better reflect this.”     

Under the changes announced Monday, the U.S. Trust name will disappear, and the division will become Bank of America Private Bank. BofA bought U.S. Trust for $3.3 billion from Charles Schwab in 2006.  

Meanwhile, the bank says it now will drop "Lynch" and use just "Merrill" as the sub-brand on its investing and wealth-management units. 

Merrill Lynch was once a well-known financial services brand, with ad campaigns that featured a bull. That included TV campaign featuring a bull, including one showing the bull strolling quietly through a china shop, in a twist on the old adage.  

BofA bought Merrill for $50 billion in 2009, at the peak of the financial crisis. The company also got Merrill's investment banking business, now part of BofA Securities. 

BofA is promoting its new brand strategy through a nationwide campaign that continues this year.