This excerpt taken from the BAC 10-K filed Feb 27, 2009.
Bank of America and our subsidiaries operate in a highly competitive environment. Our competitors include banks, thrifts, credit unions, investment banking firms, investment advisory firms, brokerage firms, investment companies, insurance companies, mortgage banking companies, credit card issuers, mutual fund companies and e-commerce and other Internet-based companies. We compete with some of these competitors globally and with others on a regional or product basis. Competition is based on a number of factors including, among others, customer service, quality and range of products and services offered, price, reputation, interest rates on loans and deposits, lending limits and customer convenience. Our ability to continue to compete effectively also depends in large part on our ability to attract new employees and retain and motivate our existing employees, while managing compensation and other costs. In connection with the purchase by the U.S. Department of the Treasury (U.S. Treasury) of an additional series of our preferred stock in January 2009, we agreed to certain compensation limitations, and the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA) includes certain additional restrictions, applicable to our senior executive officers and certain other senior managers, which may impact our ability to attract or retain employees.
More specifically, our consumer banking business competes with banks, thrifts, credit unions, finance companies and other nonbank organizations offering financial services. Our commercial lending business competes with local, regional and international banks and nonbank financial organizations, some of which are larger than certain of our nonbanking subsidiaries and the Banks. In the investment banking, wealth management, investment advisory and brokerage businesses, our nonbanking subsidiaries compete with U.S. and international commercial banking and investment banking firms, investment advisory firms, brokerage firms, investment companies, mutual funds, hedge funds, private equity funds, other organizations offering similar services and other investment alternatives available to investors, some of which are larger than our subsidiaries. Our mortgage banking units compete with banks, thrifts, government agencies, mortgage brokers and other nonbank organizations offering mortgage banking and mortgage related services. Our card business competes in the U.S. and internationally with banks, as well as monoline and retail card product companies. In the trust business, the Banks compete with other banks, thrifts, insurance agents, financial counselors and other fiduciaries for personal trust business and with other banks, investment counselors and insurance companies for institutional funds.
We also compete actively for funds. A primary source of funds for the Banks is deposits, and competition for deposits includes other deposit-taking organizations, such as banks, thrifts and credit unions, as well as money market mutual funds. Investment banks and