WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 28 March 2012 — Bank of America Merrill Lynch has been recognized for call center operation customer satisfaction excellence for an eighth consecutive year under the J.D. Power and Associates Call Center Certification Program.SM The Call Center Certification Program distinction acknowledges a strong commitment by the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Retirement Contact Centers call center operation to provide "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience."

Bank of America Merrill Lynch's Retirement Contact Centers, located in Hopewell, N.J., and Jacksonville, Fla., handle nearly 3 million telephone and e-mail inquiries from clients annually. To become certified, the contact centers successfully passed a detailed audit of more than 100 practices that encompass the call center's customer satisfaction measurement and analysis strategies, recruiting, training, employee incentives, quality assurance capabilities, and management roles and responsibilities. As part of its evaluation, J.D. Power and Associates conducted a random survey of Bank of America Merrill Lynch clients who recently contacted its contact centers. Bank of America Merrill Lynch has received this certification since the inception of J.D. Power and Associates' program launch.

"Bank of America Merrill Lynch Retirement Services is to be congratulated for achieving call center certification for an eighth consecutive year, which demonstrates their deep, longstanding dedication to its clients," said Mark Miller, senior director of the global contact center practice at J.D. Power and Associates.  "Our research shows that Bank of America Merrill Lynch Retirement Services clients value each aspect of the interaction with the representatives, who demonstrate particularly strong performance in knowledge, concern, courtesy and timeliness of issue resolution, which again underscores their commitment to providing an outstanding customer experience."

"At Bank of America Merrill Lynch we are committed to providing a client-first service experience to the millions of individuals who participate in our retirement and benefit plans," said Andy Sieg, head of Global Wealth and Retirement Solutions for Bank of America Merrill Lynch.  "Being recognized by J.D. Power and Associates for the eighth year in a row reflects our commitment to providing the best service experience to enable our clients to reach their retirement goals."

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.

"Providing first-class service allows us to strengthen our client relationships and attract new clients," said Mark Alexander, head of Bank of America Global Wealth & Investment Management Technology & Operations.  "Clients' interactions with our contact centers significantly impact their overall satisfaction and loyalty. Participating in the J.D. Power certification program gives us an objective benchmark to demonstrate how well we service our clients."

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.
 
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 operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction.  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

McGraw-Hill announced on September 12, 2011, its intention to separate into two public companies: McGraw-Hill Financial, a leading provider of content and analytics to global financial markets, and McGraw-Hill Education, a leading education company focused on digital learning and education services worldwide. McGraw-Hill Financial's leading brands include Standard & Poor's Ratings Services, S&P Capital IQ, S&P Indices, Platts energy information services and J.D. Power and Associates. With sales of $6.2 billion in 2011, the Corporation has approximately 23,000 employees across more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Additional information is available at http://www.mcgraw-hill.com/.

Media Relations Contacts:

John Tews; J.D. Power and Associates; Troy, Mich.; (248) 680-6218; [email protected]
Selena Morris; Bank of America; New York, NY; (212) 236-2272; [email protected]

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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