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CNBC TRANSCRIPT: CNBC'S ERIN BURNETT INTERVIEWS KEN LEWIS BANK OF AMERICA CEO TODAY ON CNBC'S "POWER LUNCH"

Ken Lewis testifying before House Financial Services Committee
CNBC.com
Ken Lewis testifying before House Financial Services Committee

WHEN: TODAY, FRIDAY, MARCH 27TH

WHERE: CNBC'S "POWER LUNCH"

Following is the unofficial transcript of a CNBC interview with Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis today on CNBC's "Power Lunch."

All references must source CNBC.

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BURNETT: KEN LEWIS IS HERE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER OF BANK OF AMERICA. THANKS FOR BEING WITH US. WE'VE HAD THE CHANCE TO SPEAK TO SOME OF YOUR COLLEAGUES WHAT'S YOUR IMPRESSION OF WHAT WENT ON IN THE RADIOOOM?

LEWIS: IN SETTING THIS UP, IT'S LIKE WE ARE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER WE'VE ALL GOT WORK TO DO.I WAS IMPRESSED BY THE PRESIDENT'S KNOWLEDGE OF THE FACTS AND CIRCUMSTANCES. IT WAS A COOPERATIVE, PLEASANT MEETING. BUT, AGAIN, WITH THE RECOGNITIONTHAT WE'RE NOT GOING TO AGREE ON EVERYTHING.

BURNETT: WHAT ISSUE DO YOU FEEL THAT YOU FELT THE MOST DIFFERENTLY FROM HIM ON COMING OUT OF THAT MEETING EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT COOPERATION. BUT WHAT'S THE ISSUE THAT YOU FEEL THAT THE BANKERS AREN'T ON THE SAME PAGE AS THE PRESIDENT?

LEWIS: I DON'T KNOW IF THERE IS ANY ONE SPECIFIC. YOU'LL GET INTO COMPENSATION AND ISSUES YOU MAY HAVE A DIFFERENCE IN DEGREE.I THINK ALL OF US -- I SAID IN SEPTEMBER -- THAT THE GOLDEN AGE OF BANKING AND BANK COMPENSATION WAS OVER.SO I PERSONALLY UNDERSTOOD THAT MONTHS AGO.

BURNETT: YOU HAD PUT OUT A LETTER TO YOUR EMPLOYEES LAST WEEK IN THE BACK OF THE HOUSE BILL WHEN THEY PASSED THE 90% TAX RETROACTIVE ON PAY. DO YOU FEEL LIKE THE PRESIDENT GAVE YOU AN ANSWER ON THAT, OR DO YOU FEEL YOU HAVE TO GO TO YOUR EMPLOYEES AND SAY, I DON'T KNOW IF THEY'RE GOING TO TAKE YOUR MONEY BACK?

LEWIS: I GOT THE IMPRESSION BOTH FROM HIM AND SOME OF THE THINGS GOING ON BEHIND THE SCENES, THAT COOLER HEADS ARE GOING TO PREVAIL. AND NOTHING WILL BE DONE THAT PUNITIVE.WHAT THE ANSWER WILL BE, I DON'TKNOW.BUT I WILL -- I FEEL PRETTY CONFIDENTLY THAT THE ANSWERS THAT WE SAW BEFORE WILL NOT BE THE FINAL ANSWERS.

BURNETT: YOU HAD MEAT COMMENTS WIDELY QUOTED IN THE LOS ANGELES TIMES ABOUT RETURNING T.A.R.P. MONEY, WHICH IS 45 BILLION-PLUS, OBVIOUSLY LOAN GUARANTEES. WAS IT SAID IN THE HEAT OF THE MOMENT?OR DO YOU FEEL THIS IS THE TIME TO GIVE IT BACK?

LEWIS: NO.WE WOULD WANT TO GIVE IT BACK AS SOON AS WE CAN.WE DON'T KNOW EXACTLY NOW WHAT THE REACTION WILL BE FROM THE REGULATORS AND FROM THE SECRETARY OF TREASURY.BUT AS SOON AS IT MAKES SENSE, WE'D LIKE TO RETURN IT.

BURNETT: AND YOU CAN RETURN IT?

LEWIS: AND WE CAN.

BURNETT: FINAL QUESTION. JAMIE DIMON MENTIONED THAT MARCH WAS WORSE FOR JPMORGAN THAN EARLIER IN THE QUARTER.WAS IT FOR BANK OF AMERICA?

LEWIS: YEAH. THE TRADING BOOK WAS NOT AS GOOD AS IT WAS IN THE FIRST TWO MONTHS. BUT DEPOSIT FLOWS ACTUALLY WERE PRETTY GOOD.

BURNETT: NET STILL PROFITABLE?

LEWIS: WE STILL EXPECT A PROFITABLE -- I'M SORRY, WE'RE TOO FAR INTO THE QUARTER NOW. I SHOULDN'T BE TALKING ABOUT IT.

BURNETT: ALL RIGHT I'LL LET IT GO.





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