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BofA Says Junior Bankers Should Take Some Weekends Off

Bank of America
The reflections of pedestrians walking are seen in the window of a Bank of America Corp. branch in New York. Photographer: Ron Antonelli/Bloomberg

Bank of America Corp., the second-largest U.S. lender, said it’s improving working conditions by joining competitors in recommending junior bankers take some weekends off.

“While we do not encourage weekend work, effective immediately, we recommend that analysts and associates take a minimum of four weekend days off per month,” Christian Meissner, head of global corporate and investment banking, said in a memo to employees today. The contents of the memo was confirmed by a spokesman in London.

The death of intern Moritz Erhardt last August spurred Bank of America to set up a panel of senior managers to “review all aspects of this tragedy,” the bank said at the time. The 21-year-old died of an epileptic seizure while taking a shower, a London coroner said after an inquest in November. He never once complained about his workload, Erhardt’s parents and co-workers said, even when staying up until 5 a.m.

“As per our current vacation policy, analysts and associates are required to use allocated vacation time per year,” Meissner said in the memo. Summer analysts and associates at the global corporate and investment banking unit are subject to the same guidelines, he said.

Goldman Sachs Group Inc., based in New York, said in October it’s discouraging investment-banking analysts from working weekends as it overhauls demands on and support for entry-level employees.

Morgan Stanley abandoned an attempt last year to block first-year bankers from talking with recruiters for outside firms after employees complained, people with knowledge of the matter said in April.

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