Bank of America Corporation (B of A)
- Homepage: http://www.bankofamerica.com/
November 2005: "Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 38 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 5,800 retail banking offices, more than 16,700 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 14 million active users. Bank of America is the No. 1 overall Small Business Administration (SBA) lender in the United States and the No. 1 SBA lender to minority-owned small businesses. The company serves clients in 150 countries and has relationships with 97 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 79 percent of the Global Fortune 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange."http://www.bankofamerica.com/newsroom/press/press.cfm?PressID=press.20051104.05.htm
June 2005: "Key Statistics (As of April 18, 2005)
- US Consumer and Commercial Banking - 29 states and District of Columbia
- US Banking Centers - 5,889
- ATMs - 16,798
- Active Online Users - 13.1 million
- International Offices in 35 countries supporting clients across 150 countries
- Associates (employees) - 175,365 (full-time equivalent)"
January 2004: "Key Statistics (As of September 30, 2003)
- US Consumer and Commercial Banking: 21 states and District of Columbia
- ATMs: 13,120
- Active Online Users: 6.63 million
- International: Serving clients in more than 150 countries
- Associates (employees) 132,749 (full-time equivalent)"
November 2013: "The answer to that question is at stake in an $8.5 billion settlement that is awaiting approval by a justice in New York State Supreme Court. Early this week, the court will hear closing arguments in a case about the settlement struck by Bank of America and 22 mortgage securities investors two years ago. The settlement would resolve Bank of America’s legal liability for more than one million loans made by Countrywide Financial — now owned by Bank of America — during the mortgage mania. The court will decide whether the settlement is fair and reasonable and can go forward."http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/business/who-has-your-back-hard-to-tell.html
January 2013: "Moreover, instead of using the bailout money as promised – to jump-start the economy – Wall Street used the funds to make the economy more dangerous. From the start, taxpayer money was used to subsidize a string of finance mergers, from the Chase-Bear Stearns deal to the Wells FargoWachovia merger to Bank of America's acquisition of Merrill Lynch. Aided by bailout funds, being Too Big to Fail was suddenly Too Good to Pass Up."http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/secret-and-lies-of-the-bailout-20130104
July 2012: 'A page later, "Wells Fargo will Settle Mortgage Bias Charges" as that bank agrees to pay $175m in fines resulting from its having – again, very lucratively – charged African-American and Hispanic mortgagees costlier rates on their subprime mortgages than their counterparts who were white and had the same credit scores. Remember, this was a time when "Wall Street firms developed a huge demand for subprime loans that they purchased and bundled into securities for investors, creating financial incentives for lenders to make such loans." So, Wells Fargo was profiting from overcharging minority clients and profiting from products based on the higher-than-average bad loan rate expected. The piece discreetly ends mentioning that a Bank of America lawsuit of $335m and a Sun Trust mortgage settlement of $21m for having engaged is similar kinds of discrimination.'http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jul/14/global-financial-fraud-gatekeepers
March 2012: "Principal reductions will also only apply to certain borrowers who have mortgages still held by the five major lenders: Bank of America (BAC, Fortune 500), CitiBank (C, Fortune 500), Wells Fargo (WFC, Fortune 500), J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM, Fortune 500) and Ally Financial."http://money.cnn.com/2012/03/13/real_estate/mortgage-settlement/index.htm
February 2012: "The five mortgage servicers in the settlement — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citigroup and Ally Financial — have largely set aside reserves for the expected cost of the accord and investors are likely to cheer its announcement because it removes one more legal worry for the industry, analysts said."http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/09/business/states-negotiate-25-billion-deal-for-homeowners.html
December 2011: "WASHINGTON — The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history, saying that Bank of America had agreed to pay $335 million to settle allegations that its Countrywide Financial unit discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/12/22/business/us-settlement-reported-on-countrywide-lending.html
October 2011: 'The Illinois Democrat had pushed legislation, which went into effect a week ago, that limits the fees big banks collect from merchants, and he now finds himself the fall guy for Bank of America’s new $5 monthly debit card fee. His response? He ranted and raved and suggested that consumers “get the heck out of that bank.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/08/your-money/brokerage-and-bank-accounts/consumers-caught-in-middle-of-checking-account-wars-your-money.html
October 2011: "Debit cards were developed by banks as a replacement for paper checks. When a consumer pays with a debit card instead of a check, the bank saves money. In the 1980s, Visa calculated the savings at 55 cents to $1.60 per check. The savings is much higher today. For decades, Bank of America, the founding owner and member of Visa (originally called BankAmericard) and all of the Visa and MasterCard banks, including Chase, hid the identity of their debit cards from stores by designing them to look and function like their signature authorized credit cards and by charging stores the same price for debit and credit transactions. Banks did this despite the fact that purchases made with a debit card didn’t involve a loan from the bank, posed very little fraud risk and were extravagantly profitable to banks because they eliminated the costs of processing and clearing checks."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/opinion/debit-card-fees-are-robbery.html
August 2011: "Meanwhile, as Edgar Dworsky, a consumer advocate who founded ConsumerWorld.org, discovered recently, someone armed with just a bit of personal information about a target can also gain access to the automated phone systems for Bank of America and Chase credit card holders."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/20/your-money/your-phone-may-be-less-secure-than-you-thought.html
September 2011: "Even though the banks already face high legal bills from actions brought by other plaintiffs, including private investors, the suits filed Friday could cost the banks far more. In the case against Bank of America, for example, the suit claims that Fannie and Freddie bought more than $57 billion worth of risky mortgage securities from the bank and two companies it also acquired, Merrill Lynch and Countrywide Financial."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/03/business/bank-suits-over-mortgages-are-filed.html
June 2011: "JPMorgan ran the deal, but other banks, including Citibank and Bank of America took part. There were two separate rounds of funding to raise the approximately $12 billion that Mr. Zell borrowed to take the Tribune Company private. The banks received an eye-popping $161 million in fees for just the first round — a number sufficient to run The Los Angeles Times newsroom for a year, as Mr. O’Shea points out — and a total of $283 million in fees for both rounds."http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/20/business/media/20carr.html
May 2011: 'The “best” cards, offering free in-network A.T.M. withdrawals, at least two free out-of-network withdrawals, no balance inquiry fees and no inactivity fees, are offered in New York and New Jersey by Bank of America, the report found.'http://bucks.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/05/11/prepaid-cards-subject-jobless-to-host-of-fees
December 2010: "None of the three clearinghouses would divulge the members of their risk committees when asked by a reporter. But two people with direct knowledge of ICE’s committee said the bank members are: Thomas J. Benison of JPMorgan Chase & Company; James J. Hill of Morgan Stanley; Athanassios Diplas of Deutsche Bank; Paul Hamill of UBS; Paul Mitrokostas of Barclays; Andy Hubbard of Credit Suisse; Oliver Frankel of Goldman Sachs; Ali Balali of Bank of America; and Biswarup Chatterjee of Citigroup."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/12/business/12advantage.html
April 2010: 'Mr. Jealous said he was optimistic that the N.A.A.C.P. would reach similar agreements with Citibank and JPMorgan Chase, which the N.A.A.C.P. is also suing. He added that he also hoped to negotiate such an agreement with Bank of America, which is not part of the lawsuit. “Bankers were using affinity-based marketing — for instance, going into churches and other networks and aggressively marketing,” Mr. Jealous said, and as a result, the borrowers often believed that the lenders’ offers were trustworthy.'http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/25/realestate/25mort.html
March 2010: "Bank of America shocked competitors on Wednesday when it announced it was doing away with overdraft fees for debit card purchases."http://www.nytimes.com/2010/03/13/your-money/credit-and-debit-cards/13money.html
February 2010: 'When Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley got their federal bank charters, they joined Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase and the other banking titans who could go to the Fed and borrow massive amounts of money at interest rates that, thanks to the aggressive rate-cutting policies of Fed chief Ben Bernanke during the crisis, soon sank to zero percent. The ability to go to the Fed and borrow big at next to no interest was what saved Goldman, Morgan Stanley and other banks from death in the fall of 2008. "They had no other way to raise capital at that moment, meaning they were on the brink of insolvency," says Nomi Prins, a former managing director at Goldman Sachs. "The Fed was the only shot."'http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/32255149/wall_streets_bailout_hustle
August 2009: "A report released by Treasury officials identified lenders who had made slow progress in offering more affordable mortgages, naming Bank of America and Wells Fargo as among those failing to reach large numbers of eligible borrowers."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/05/business/05treasury.html
August 2009: "On Monday, the SEC faced another awkward question: How to pursue cases when government officials may have played a role in alleged wrongdoing? The agency charged Bank of America with violating securities laws for hiding from investors plans to pay billions of dollars in bonuses to employees of Merrill Lynch, the troubled investment bank it bought. The charges, which Bank of America settled, intensified concerns on Capitol Hill that the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve may have been involved in efforts to avoid the disclosure of facts that could have derailed the deal."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/03/AR2009080303028.html
August 2009: "On Monday the Securities and Exchange Commission accused Bank of America, the bank Mr. Lewis runs, of misleading its shareholders about $5 billion in bonuses paid by Merrill Lynch, the ailing brokerage giant that Bank of America bought last year."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/04/business/04bofa.html
August 2009: "The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday charged Bank of America with lying to investors about its plan to pay billions of dollars in bonuses to employees of Merrill Lynch."http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/08/03/AR2009080301165.html
July 2009: 'Bank of America disputed that characterization. “To think that somehow or other we would jeopardize investor relationships and customer relationships for the very small incremental income we would receive by delaying seems ludicrous,” said Robert V. James, the bank’s senior vice president for mortgage operations and insurance. “It’s not the right thing to do.”'http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/30/business/30services.html
July 2009: "Bank of America and Merrill Lynch, whose merger brought the combined company to the brink of collapse, paid 868 employees bonuses worth at least $1 million. Both banks, whose compensation packages are being reviewed by a federal pay czar, turned to the government twice for bailouts, receiving a total of $45 billion."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/31/business/31pay.html
June 2009: "Rising Default Rates Banks are cutting limits in the face of a deteriorating economy. U.S. credit-card default rates reached record highs in May, near or even above 10% for Bank of America (BAC), American Express (AXP), Citigroup (C), and Capital One (COF), according to Reuters. The worsening unemployment situation is causing banks to worry that even good customers could quickly become risky customers. As a result, the companies are preemptively slashing credit lines, especially those that aren't being used."http://www.businessweek.com/lifestyle/content/jun2009/bw20090623_854197.htm
June 2009: "the government’s role in one of the most controversial moments of the financial crisis — the hastily arranged acquisition of Merrill by Bank of America. While that deal saved Merrill and averted a financial firestorm, it left Bank of America scrambling to deal with a company whose losses were far greater than it had bargained for."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/11/business/11bank.html
May 2009: 'Banks can also change the terms of your agreement, raising rates when they like (though you can opt out and pay off the balance at the old rate as long as you never use the card again). Bank of America did that recently, upping many cardholders’ rates from 10 or 12 percent to 27 percent or more, even though they’d done nothing wrong.'http://www.smartmoney.com/spending/rip-offs/10-things-your-bank-wont-tell-you-23457/
January 2009: "The coalition — a group of major trade associations and lenders like Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo also fought to block the so-called cramdown legislation last year."http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/business/economy/09loan.html
October 2008: "The Associated Press reported that nine financial companies it surveyed--Citigroup (nyse: C - news - people ), Bank of America (nyse: BAC - news - people ), Goldman Sachs (nyse: GS - news - people ), Morgan Stanley (nyse: MS - news - people ), JPMorgan Chase (nyse: JPM - news - people ), Merrill Lynch (nyse: MER - news - people ), Bank of New York Mellon (nyse: BK - news - people ), State Street (nyse: STT - news - people ), and Wells Fargo (nyse: WFC - news - people )--had compensation-related expenses of $108 billion in the first three quarters of the year. That's 3% higher than in the first nine months of 2007, says the AP."http://www.forbes.com/business/2008/10/30/wall-street-bonuses-pf-ii-in_hg_1030soapbox_inl.html
October 2008: "New plan for Countrywide borrowers Hope for Homeowners isn't the only foreclosure prevention game in town. This year, several state attorneys general sued Countrywide, accusing the mortgage giant of marketing adjustable-rate loans deceptively. Bank of America bought Countrywide and settled the lawsuits by promising to modify as many as 400,000 customers' mortgages."http://www.bankrate.com/brm/news/mortgages/20081009-hope-homeowners-a1.asp
July 2008: "Countrywide, which was acquired by Bank of America this month, disputed Ms. Winnecour’s allegations about the lost checks, saying the company had no record of having received the payments which the trustee said had been sent. But on June 18, Countrywide settled the case with her office."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/16/business/16lend.html
June 2008: "The industry has changed significantly since the antitrust ruling. Bank of America and Citigroup, two of the largest three credit card issuers, signed a deal to offer their customers American Express-branded cards, and HSBC and General Electric’s financial service arms reached agreements with Discover."http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/26/business/26credit.html
April 2007: Bank of America, which won the University of Virginia’s student loan business, said in its 2002 proposal that certain possible incentives had “the potential to violate” federal law. The bank, which said such a discussion was normal in the bidding process, suggested that it discuss the issues with university officials “during the oral presentation phase of the process.”http://www.nytimes.com/2007/04/15/education/15direct.html
August 2006: "The report says that Credit Suisse First Boston, Lehman Brothers and Bank of America “all knew that the offshore entities” for which they made trades were associated with the Wylys, but ignored rules requiring disclosure of these transactions and helped them hide the true ownership of the assets. Only when Robert M. Morgenthau, the New York District attorney, issued subpoenas in 2004 did Bank of America close the Wyly accounts."http://www.nytimes.com/2006/08/01/business/01tax.html
Role Name Type Last Updated Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Banc of America Securities Organization Jan 22, 2006 Member of (past or present) Bankruptcy Coalition Organization Jan 9, 2009 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Countrywide Financial Corporation Incorporated Organization Dec 22, 2011 Member of (past or present) Financial Services Roundtable Organization Jan 9, 2009 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) Merrill Lynch & Co. Organization Dec 18, 2008 Owner of (partial or full, past or present) NationsBank Organization Nov 9, 2004 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Kenneth D. Lewis Person Jun 20, 2009 Organization Head/Leader (past or present) Brian T. Moynihan Esq. Person Mar 12, 2011 Cooperation (past or present) Charles Wyly Person Aug 10, 2006 Cooperation (past or present) Sam Wyly Person Aug 10, 2006
Articles and Resources
Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Nov 16, 2013 Who Has Your Back? Hard to Tell
QUOTE: what’s really on trial here is the role played in the settlement by Bank of New York Mellon, the trustee charged with protecting all investors in these securities. Trustees for asset-backed securities have a duty to ensure that the companies administering them, known as servicers, do right by the investors who own them. But testimony in the case, known as an Article 77 proceeding, indicates that during months of settlement talks, Bank of New York Mellon did not do all it could to ensure that all investors holding the Countrywide securities got the best deal possible from Bank of America.
New York Times Jan 04, 2013 Secret and Lies of the Bailout:The federal rescue of Wall Street didn’t fix the economy – it created a permanent bailout state based on a Ponzi-like confidence scheme. And the worst may be yet to come
QUOTE: Not only did [the 2009 banking system bailout--Ed.] prevent another Great Depression, we've been told, but the money has all been paid back, and the government even made a profit. No harm, no foul – right? Wrong. It was all a lie – one of the biggest and most elaborate falsehoods ever sold to the American people. We were told that the taxpayer was stepping in – only temporarily, mind you – to prop up the economy and save the world from financial catastrophe. What we actually ended up doing was the exact opposite: committing American taxpayers to permanent, blind support of an ungovernable, unregulatable, hyperconcentrated new financial system that exacerbates the greed and inequality that caused the crash, and forces Wall Street banks like Goldman Sachs and Citigroup to increase risk rather than reduce it. The result is one of those deals where one wrong decision early on blossoms into a lush nightmare of unintended consequences.
Rolling Stone Jul 14, 2012 This global financial fraud and its gatekeepers: The media's 'bad apple' thesis no longer works. We're seeing systemic corruption in banking – and systemic collusion
QUOTE: The notion that the entire global financial system is riddled with systemic fraud – and that key players in the gatekeeper roles, both in finance and in government, including regulatory bodies, know it and choose to quietly sustain this reality – is one that would have only recently seemed like the frenzied hypothesis of tinhat-wearers, but this week's headlines make such a conclusion, sadly, inevitable.
Guardian Unlimited Jun 13, 2012 Owners May Not Be Covered When Hackers Wipe Out A Business Bank Account
QUOTE: Computer security specialists say these crimes, called “corporate account takeovers,” have become increasingly common...most banks do not take responsibility for unauthorized debits from business accounts. Unless the owners have fraud insurance, they must shoulder the losses alone.
New York Times Mar 13, 2012 Rage grows over mortgage deal
QUOTE: As more details emerge about the massive $26 billion foreclosure settlement between the five biggest mortgage lenders and the states' attorneys general, a growing number of borrowers are realizing that the deal will do little, if anything, to help them out.
CNN (Cable News Network) Feb 08, 2012 States Negotiate $26 Billion Deal for Homeowners
QUOTE: After months of painstaking talks, government authorities and five of the nation’s biggest banks have agreed to a $26 billion settlement that could provide relief to nearly two million current and former American homeowners harmed by the bursting of the housing bubble, state and federal officials said. It is part of a broad national settlement aimed at halting the housing market’s downward slide and holding the banks accountable for foreclosure abuses.
New York Times Dec 21, 2011 Countrywide Will Settle a Bias Suit
QUOTE: The Justice Department on Wednesday announced the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history, saying that Bank of America had agreed to pay $335 million to settle allegations that its Countrywide Financial unit discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom.
New York Times Oct 07, 2011 Checking Account Wars, Behind the Scenes (Your Money)
QUOTE: So the big banks make you pay, and the most aggressive of the little institutions want to pay you.... Even when nearly everyone had free checking several years ago, however, there were all sorts of questionable activities going on behind the scenes to pay for it.
New York Times Oct 06, 2011 Charging for Debit Cards Is Robbery
QUOTE: When Bank of America told its customers recently that it would start charging them $5 a month to use debit cards, it argued that it was forced to make that change because of regulations that altered the economics of the cards....But the banks’ simplistic statements are merely an attempt to rationalize and obfuscate one of the largest illegal transfers of wealth from consumers to banks in American history.
New York Times Sep 02, 2011 Federal Regulators Sue Big Banks Over Mortgages
QUOTE: A bruising legal fight pitting the country’s most powerful banks against the full force of the United States government began Friday, as federal regulators filed suits against 17 financial institutions that sold the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac nearly $200 billion in mortgage-backed securities that later soured.
New York Times Aug 19, 2011 Your Voice Mail May Be Even Less Secure Than You Thought
QUOTE: AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile do not require cellphone customers to use a password on their voice mail boxes, and plenty of people never bother to set one up. But if you don’t, people using a service colloquially known as caller ID spoofing could disguise their phone as yours and get access to your messages. This is possible because voice mail systems often grant access to callers who appear to be phoning from their own number.
New York Times Jun 19, 2011 Ugly Details in Selling Newspapers
QUOTE: James O’Shea, the former editor in chief of The Los Angeles Times, found a classic of the genre in the course of reporting out “The Deal From Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers,” his deep dive into the two deals that tipped over the companies that owned, among many other newspapers, The Los Angeles Times and The Chicago Tribune.
New York Times May 31, 2011 S.E.C. Case Stands Out Because It Stands Alone
QUOTE: How Mr. Tourre alone came to be the face of mortgage-securities fraud has raised questions among former prosecutors and Congressional officials about how aggressive and thorough the government’s investigations have been into Wall Street’s role in the mortgage crisis.
New York Times May 11, 2011 Prepaid Cards Subject Jobless to Host of Fees
QUOTE: A report out this week from the National Consumer Law Center lays out a host of ways in which banks nibble away at jobless benefits with fees the center called “junk.”
New York Times Apr 27, 2011 A.I.G. to Sue 2 Firms to Recover Some Losses
QUOTE: A.I.G. is preparing several suits against banks, like Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, that created the $40 billion in mortgage bonds… The company says it believes the banks issued misleading statements about the quality of the mortgages within those bonds.
New York Times Mar 13, 2011 Another Inside Job
QUOTE: The (financial crisis of 2008) has spawned a whole new set of abuses, many of them illegal as well as immoral. And leading political figures are, at long last, showing some outrage. Unfortunately, this outrage is directed, not at banking abuses, but at those trying to hold banks accountable for these abuses.
New York Times Mar 08, 2011 Bank Chief Rejects Idea of Reducing Home Loans
QUOTE: Showing resistance for the first time against government pressure to write off tens of billions worth of mortgage debt, Bank of America executives said on Tuesday that the idea was unworkable and warned that it would be unfair to borrowers who had managed to stay current on their loans.
New York Times Dec 21, 2010 In a Sign of Foreclosure Flaws, Suits Claim Break-Ins by Banks
QUOTE: In an era when millions of homes have received foreclosure notices nationwide, lawsuits detailing bank break-ins like the one at Ms. Ash’s house keep surfacing. And in the wake of the scandal involving shoddy, sometimes illegal paperwork that has buffeted the nation’s biggest banks in recent months, critics say these situations reinforce their claims that the foreclosure process is fundamentally flawed.
New York Times Dec 11, 2010 A Secretive Banking Elite Rules Trading in Derivatives
QUOTE: Drawn from giants like JPMorgan Chase, Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley, the bankers form a powerful committee that helps oversee trading in derivatives, instruments which, like insurance, are used to hedge risk. In theory, this group exists to safeguard the integrity of the multitrillion-dollar market. In practice, it also defends the dominance of the big banks.
New York Times Apr 21, 2010 Bias Accord as Harbinger
QUOTE: A DECISION this month by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People to drop its racial-discrimination lawsuit against Wells Fargo in exchange for a say in reviewing its lending practices could set the stage for similar agreements with other big mortgage lenders, some experts say. From 2007 to 2009, the N.A.A.C.P. filed suit against 15 lenders, accusing them of offering high-cost loans to many black borrowers during the subprime lending boom, even though many of the applicants could have qualified for lower interest rates and closing costs.
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