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WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 20 March 2013 Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been recognized for call center operation customer satisfaction excellence for a ninth consecutive year under the J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center ProgramSM. The Certified Call Center Program distinction acknowledges a strong commitment by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Retirement Contact Centers' call center operations to provide "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience."

To become certified, the call centers successfully passed a detailed audit of more than 100 practices that encompass their recruiting, training, employee incentives, management roles and responsibilities, and quality assurance capabilities. As part of its evaluation, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a random survey of Bank of America Merrill Lynch customers who recently contacted its call centers in Hopewell, N.J. and Jacksonville, Fla.

"Bank of America Merrill Lynch Retirement Services is to be congratulated for earning their ninth consecutive certification which demonstrates a true commitment to providing outstanding customer service," said Mark Miller, Senior Director, J.D. Power and Associates. "The Bank of America Merrill Lynch team has made the satisfaction of their clients a priority and that comes through loud and clear according to our research."

For certification status, a call center must also perform within the top 20 percent of customer service scores, which are based on benchmarks established in J.D. Power and Associates' cross-industry customer satisfaction research. The evaluation criteria include the customer service representative's courtesy, knowledge and concern for the customer; promptness in speaking to a person; and timely resolution of the problem or request. Additionally, the experience with the automated phone system is evaluated based on the clarity of the information provided, the ease of navigating the phone menu prompts and the ease of understanding the phone menu instructions.
"We are committed to delivering an outstanding service experience, one connection at a time, to the millions of individuals who participate in our financial benefit plans," said Kevin Crain, head of Institutional Retirement & Benefit Services for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  "Being recognized for this by J.D. Power and Associates now for nearly a decade reflects this, along with our commitment to helping plan participants improve their financial wellness and achieve their goals."

"Consistently providing a high quality service experience allows us to strengthen our client relationships and attract new ones," said Kim Kasin, Business Operations Executive for Bank of America Global Wealth & Investment Management (GWIM). "Participation in this certification program gives us an objective benchmark to measure how well we service our clients, as well as where we can do better."

The Call Center Certification Program was launched by J.D. Power and Associates in 2004 to evaluate overall customer satisfaction with call centers and to help call centers in various industries increase their efficiency and effectiveness by establishing and continually updating leading practices for handling service calls.

For more information on the Call Center Certification Program, please visit JDPower.com.

About J.D. Power and Associates

Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company providing forecasting, performance improvement, social media and customer satisfaction insights and solutions. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit JDPower.com. J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies

The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP), a financial intelligence and education company, signed an agreement to sell its McGraw-Hill Education business to investment funds affiliated with Apollo Global Management, LLC in November 2012. Following the sale closing, expected in early 2013, the Company will be renamed McGraw Hill Financial (subject to shareholder approval) and will be a powerhouse in benchmarks, content and analytics for the global capital and commodity markets. The Company's leading brands will include: Standard & Poor's, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Dow Jones Indices, Platts, Crisil, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Company will have approximately 17,000 employees in more than 30 countries.  Additional information is available at www.mcgraw-hill.com.

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; media.relations@jdpa.com
Matthew Card; Bank of America Communications; Chantilly, Va.; (617) 434-1388; matthew.card@bankofamerica.com

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No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com/corporate

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Media Contacts:

John Tews

Troy, Michigan

(248) 680-6218