Bank of America Corp Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis has said he would consider postponing his retirement if directors need more time to find a successor or smooth the transition to the next CEO, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday.

Citing a person close to the executive, the newspaper said Lewis's willingness to stay at the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank beyond his planned Dec. 31 retirement date is the latest sign of the difficulties directors have faced in finding a replacement.

Tensions have mounted as various internal and external candidates are floated, approached and vetted, people familiar with the discussions said, according to the Journal.

Some people inside the company claim the process is leaving the bank adrift without cohesive leadership as it tries to navigate the recession and other problems, the report said.

The 62-year-old Lewis has no plans to backtrack on his Sept. 30 retirement announcement, indicating only that he could act as a bridge until a successor is found, according to the Journal's source. While Bank of America directors have shown no obvious interest in the idea so far, the door isn't shut, the person told the newspaper.

The board has completed its interviews of inside and outside CEO candidates and is expected to deliberate over the weekend, according to another person familiar with the discussions, the Journal said.

The list of prospects has been narrowed to two Bank of America executives, consumer and small-business banking chief Brian Moynihan and Chief Risk Officer Gregory Curl, and at least two outsiders, the report said.

(Reporting by Steve James; Editing by Sugita Katyal)