Bank of America quarterly profit quadruples but revenue falls

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Wed Apr 17, 2013 — Bank of America Corp. reported a lower-than-expected first-quarter profit and its revenue fell, sending the No. 2 U.S. bank’s shares down 3 percent before the bell on Wednesday.

Net income quadrupled to $2.62 billion, or 20 cents per share, from $653 million, or 3 cents per share a year earlier as expenses dropped and the bank set aside less money to cover bad loans. But total adjusted revenue fell 8.4 percent to $23.85 billion.

Analysts on average had expected BofA to earn 22 cents per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

BofA shares dropped 3.3 percent before the bell to $11.88.

Earnings in the year-earlier period were affected by a host of one-time items including a $4.8 billion charge related to the value of its debt.

Chief Executive Brian Moynihan has made progress in building capital and settling mortgage-related lawsuits since taking over in January 2010. But he is under pressure to show that the bank can produce higher earnings at a time of low interest rates, stricter regulations and volatile economic conditions.

BofA, the last of the big four U.S. banks to report results, has pledged to cut $8 billion in expenses by mid-2015 and has said it could reduce expenses in its division that handles delinquent mortgages by $1 billion by the end of 2013.

The bank showed signs of progress in these efforts in the quarter, with total expenses falling 5.2 percent to $18.15 billion.

Like other big banks this quarter, Bank of America results were also boosted by reduced credit losses as borrowers did a better job of making their payments. The bank’s provision for loan losses fell 29.2 percent to $1.71 billion.

Bank of America’s profits will be key in Fed stress test: CEO

NEW YORK, Tue Dec 4, 2012 — Bank of America Corp.’s ability to produce consistent profits will be a key factor in the bank’s upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve stress test, CEO Brian Moynihan said on Tuesday.

The second largest U.S. bank by assets has sufficient capital under new global standards, but its earnings are still being affected by losses from its legacy mortgage business, Moynihan said at an investor conference in New York.

“We need to make sure that we have the recurring earnings stream,” Moynihan said.

Like other big U.S. banks, Bank of America is preparing to submit a capital plan in January for the Fed’s review. The plans can include proposals to increase dividends or repurchase shares.

Bank of America’s need to prove its earnings “track record” will likely dampen its request to return capital to shareholders, Bernstein analyst John McDonald wrote in a report last month. He expects the bank will ask for a quarterly dividend of no more than 2 cents per share and share buybacks of $3 billion.

Bank of America posts slim profit despite settlement, charges

NEW YORK, Wed Oct 17, 2012 – Bank of America Corp eked out a third-quarter profit even after taking $1.6 billion of litigation charges, as the second-largest U.S. bank set aside less money to cover bad loans.

The results show Chief Executive Brian Moynihan is still haunted by acquisitions forged during the financial crisis. The bank last month agreed to pay $2.4 billion to settle claims that it hid crucial information from shareholders when it bought investment bank Merrill Lynch & Co at the height of the financial crisis.

Bank of America had already set aside some money for the settlement, but it said last month that the pact, a UK tax charge and an accounting charge related to the value of its debt would reduce third-quarter earnings by 28 cents per share.

To boost profits, the bank launched a broad cost-cutting program in 2011 that aims to eliminate $8 billion in annual expenses and 30,000 jobs.

But even with that project, called “New BAC,” noninterest expenses rose nearly 1 percent in the latest quarter to $17.54 billion.

Bank of America settles shareholder lawsuit, to pay $2.43 billion

NEW YORK, Fri Sep 28, 2012 – Bank of America said it will pay $2.43 billion to settle a class action lawsuit with investors who held its securities at the time the company announced plans to acquire Merrill Lynch.

The company expects to incur total litigation expense of about $1.6 billion for the quarter ending Sept. 30.

The litigation expense and a U.K. tax charge are expected to hurt the bank’s third-quarter earnings by about 28 cents per share, the company said in a statement.

The bank will also institute certain corporate governance enhancements until Jan. 1, 2015, under the settlement.

Plaintiffs had alleged, among other claims, that Bank of America and certain of its officers made false or misleading statements about the financial health of Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

Bank of America denied the allegations and said it was entering into this settlement to eliminate the uncertainty and expense related to a long drawn-out litigation.

The settlement has to be approved by the U.S. district court for the Southern District of New York.

Bank of America is scheduled to report third-quarter results on Oct. 17.

Shares of the company were down slightly before the bell. They closed at $8.97 on the New York Stock Exchange on Thursday.

New York lender sues big banks over alleged Libor manipulation

NEW YORK, Mon Jul 30, 2012 – A New York lender has sued a group of large banks on the panel that sets a key global interest rate, saying it was cheated out of interest income through alleged rate manipulation.
The lawsuit, filed last week in District Court in Manhattan, seeks class-action status on behalf of similar lenders.
Berkshire Bank, which is not connected to Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway, says borrowers were able to take advantage of artificially low interest rates because of the big banks’ “unlawful suppression” of benchmark rates.
Defendants named in the suit include Bank of America Corp., Barclays Plc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Citigroup Inc.
At least one other community bank has filed similar legal claims, a sign that the rate manipulation scandal is having a broad impact. The Community Bank & Trust of Sheboygan, Wisconsin, said in a lawsuit several months ago that alleged rate rigging had kept its interest margins artificially low. That lawsuit also is pending in District Court in Manhattan.
Berkshire Bank had $854 million in assets at the end of last year, according to its website. It has 10 branches in New York and one in New Jersey.
The reliability of the London interbank offered rate, or Libor, which underpins transactions worth trillions of dollars, has been rattled by the rate manipulation accusations. Libor is used to set interest rates on credit cards, student loans and mortgages.
Big banks already face an array of Libor lawsuits by some big investors and local governments. Bank defendants have said in court papers seeking dismissal of these lawsuits that plaintiffs have failed to show banks acted to restrict competition, even if rates were improperly stated.

Demonstrators targeting Bank of America annual shareholder meeting

CHARLOTTE, N.C., Wed May 9, 2012 – Demonstrators are expected to swarm Bank of America Corp.’s annual shareholder meeting on Wednesday to voice anger over a range of issues from foreclosures to corporate taxes to financing for the coal industry.

The meeting, held in the bank’s headquarters city of Charlotte, N.C., has drawn protesters in the past, but advocacy groups operating under the name 99% Power are predicting much bigger crowds this year. Inside the meeting, stockholders will vote on the bank’s executive pay plan, elect directors and get a chance to voice their opinions to Chief Executive Brian Moynihan.

“Shareholder season is one of the only times of the year when everyday people can go face-to-face with the most powerful corporate decision makers in the country,” said Amanda Starbuck, of the Rainforest Action Network, an environmental activist group that is part of the coalition.

Inspired by the Occupy Wall Street movement, demonstrators have been targeting corporate shareholder meetings this year to keep a spotlight on concerns about economic disparity in the United States. More than 500 demonstrators engulfed Wells Fargo & Co’s (WFC.N) meeting site in April, resulting in 24 arrests.

Charlotte officials have declared the Bank of America meeting an “extraordinary event” under an ordinance passed in January to help officials handle protests expected in the city during the Democratic National Convention in September. The ordinance allows the city to ban certain items, ranging from backpacks to crowbars, at large events.

Bank of America spokesman Scott Silvestri declined to comment on the planned protests.

The second-largest U.S. bank has faced intense scrutiny for taking government bailouts during the financial crisis, for mishandling foreclosure paperwork and for attempting to implement a now-canceled monthly $5 debit card fee last fall.

UBS taps private equity chief to boost deals

NEW YORK, Mon Apr 23, 2012 – UBS AG, the Swiss bank that this month suffered the departure of some of its most senior dealmakers in the U.S., said on Monday it hired the former head of Bank of America Corp’s. buyout arm to bolster its deals coverage.

UBS said in an internal memo that Jim Forbes, a veteran banker who has raised over $100 billion in financing for companies and advised on over $120 billion of merger and acquisition deals, would join the bank on Monday as vice chairman at UBS Group Americas.

The appointment comes as UBS tries to restore the faith of both its clients and staff in its investment banking prowess. Last week it saw its head of investment banking for the Americas and its co-head of U.S. mergers and acquisitions resign in quick succession.

Forbes will spend most of his time in his new job calling on key clients in healthcare and financial sponsors as well as broadly supporting deal coverage teams, UBS said. He will report to Bob McCann, CEO of UBS Group Americas, and Brian Hull, vice chairman of Wealth Management Americas.

Forbes was most recently head of the global principal investments group at Bank of America, which is being wound down as banks scale back private equity investments due to new regulatory requirements and increased competition.

Bank of America in deal to sell another New York building

NEW YORK, Tue Apr 17, 2012 – Bank of America Corp. is under contract to sell a downtown Manhattan office building and lease it back, as the big bank continues to shed properties from its balance sheet.

Bank of America has agreed to sell the 31-story building at 222 Broadway to Beacon Capital Partners and L&L Holding Co for $230 million, or about $320 per square foot, a source familiar with the transaction said on Tuesday.

Bank of America spokeswoman Jennifer Darwin confirmed the agreement for 222 Broadway. A representative from Beacon could not be reached for an immediate comment.

Beacon and L&L also owns 195 Broadway, the former headquarters of the defunct American Telephone and Telegraph Co., located across the street from 222 Broadway.

The building is also located across from the Fulton Street Transit Center, which is currently under construction.

Bank of America, the second-largest bank, said in February that it planned to sell and lease back 222 Broadway and two buildings at its Charlotte, N.C., headquarters as it sheds non-core assets under an efficiency program.

The bank at the time said it was reviewing its portfolio of properties and making decisions about whether to sell its ownership interests. The bank said it was not considering selling its headquarters in Charlotte or its ownership interest in Bank of America Tower at One Bryant Park in New York.

Last month, Bank of America sold 100 Federal St. in Boston to Boston Properties Inc. for $615.0 million. The bank also leased back 787,000 square feet in that building.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. represented Bank of America in the Broadway transaction.

Darwin declined to comment on the two Charlotte buildings and plans for any other sales.

Bank of America CEO says mortgage process ‘healing’

NEW YORK – Thu Mar 8, 2012: Though costly for banks, a $25 billion settlement over foreclosure abuses will help a slowly improving housing market, Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian Moynihan said Thursday.

“The mortgage process is healing, which is good for all of us and the economy,” Moynihan said at an investor conference in New York.

The settlement, which will cost Bank of America $11.9 billion in cash payments and loan modifications, was announced Feb. 9, but final documents have not yet been filed.

Moynihan’s presentation was interrupted twice by protesters, including one who called for the breakup of the second-largest U.S. bank. Bank of America has lagged its peers in recovering from the financial crisis, as it struggles with losses and lawsuits tied to its 2008 purchase of subprime lender Countrywide Financial.