Bank of America Corp. expects “significant” growth in 401(k) assets this year, but analysts are skeptical about where and how the banking company can expect to generate new business.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch Retirement & Benefit Plan Services [BAC] reported that 401(k) assets increased 15.6% in 2009 to $81.5 billion from a year earlier. Kevin Crain, the head of institutional client relationships for Bank of America Merrill Lynch, said in an interview that the company is projecting significant growth in new clients and new assets this year.

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