Bank of America Corp plans to select an emergency chief executive officer this week if legal issues force Ken Lewis to leave before year-end, the Wall Street Journal said, citing a person familiar with the situation.
The banking company began working on its contingency plan began before Lewis announced his retirement, the person told the paper.
The person said a five-person board committee led by the bank's chairman Walter Massey, which was formed earlier this year to respond to concerns raised by U.S. banking regulators, is leading the process.
The board committee plans to submit its choice to the bank's full board for approval, the person told the paper, adding that the regulators would be approached next.
The contingency plan would then be halted until needed, the Journal said, citing the person.
Bank of America could not be immediately reached for comment by Reuters outside regular U.S. business hours.
Last week, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank, created a six-member committee to find a new CEO, after Lewis announced he would leave by year-end in the wake of criticism from prosecutors, politicians and some investors.
The committee led by Massey is separate from the one that was formed last week to find a new CEO, according to the paper.
(Reporting by Ajay Kamalakaran in Bangalore; Editing by Anshuman Daga)