Merrill Lynch says Eugene M. McQuade has been appointed vice chairman and president of its U.S. banking operations. This includes oversight of all U.S. banking operations, such as Lynch Bank USA (MLBUSA) and Merrill Lynch Bank & Trust Co. (MLBT).

“I am very pleased to welcome Gene to Merrill Lynch,” says John A. Thain, chairman and chief executive officer of Merrill Lynch. “Gene’s appointment underscores the importance we place on banking and the tremendous business opportunities it creates for our franchise.”

McQuade is set to report to Robert J. McCann, president of Global Wealth Management at Merrill Lynch, and will join the Global Wealth Management Executive Committee.

Prior to joining Merrill Lynch, McQuade was president and chief operating officer of Freddie Mac. He has also served as president of Bank of America Corporation, president and chief operating officer of FleetBoston Financial, and executive vice president and controller of Manufacturers Hanover Corp., a predecessor of J.P. Morgan Chase. He began his career at KPMG Peat Marwick in New York, according to Merrill.