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BANKOFAMERICA (NYSE: BAC TYO: 8648 ), is the largest commercial bank in the United States in terms of deposits, and the largest company of its kind in the world.[3][4] BANKOFAMERICA is the largest American company (by market capitalization) that is not part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average. On July 19, 2006, BANKOFAMERICA reported second quarter 2006 net income of $5.48 billion,[5] surpassing that of Citigroup for the first time.

* 1 Corporate history
o 1.1 Pre-1998 history
+ 1.1.1 Bank of Italy
+ 1.1.2 Growth in California
+ 1.1.3 Expansion outside of California
o 1.2 Merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica
o 1.3 History since 1998
+ 1.3.1 Acquisition of National Processing Company
+ 1.3.2 FleetBoston Financial merger
+ 1.3.3 Purchase of MBNA
+ 1.3.4 Divestiture of Brazil operations
+ 1.3.5 Plans to acquire LaSalle Bank
o 2.1 Consumer
o 2.2 Corporate
o 2.3 Investment Management
o 2.4 Social responsibility
* 3 Controversy and criticism
* 4 International operations
* 5 BANKOFAMERICA corporate buildings
* 6 Diversity
* 7 Major sponsorships
o 7.1 Official bank of
* 8 References
* 9 See also
* 10 External links

[edit] Corporate history
It has been suggested that NationsBank be merged into this article or section. (Discuss)

Before 1993, the BANKOFAMERICA that exists today was known as NationsBank, based in Charlotte, NC. In 1998, NationsBank merged with San Francisco-based BankAmerica and assumed the BANKOFAMERICA name.

[edit] Pre-1998 history

[edit] Bank of Italy

The roots of the pre-1998 BANKOFAMERICA lie in the American Bank of Italy, founded in San Francisco by Amadeo Giannini in 1904. When the 1906 San Francisco earthquake struck, Giannini was able to get all of the deposits out of the bank building and away from the fires, and thus, unlike many other banks, had money to loan to those struck by the disaster.

In the late 1920s, Giannini approached Orra E. Monnette, President and founder of the Los Angeles based BANKOFAMERICA, Los Angeles about a potential merger between the two entities. The Los Angeles based bank had exhibited strong growth throughout the 1920s, due in part to its success in developing an advanced bank branching system. The merger of the two institutions was completed in early 1929 and took the name BANKOFAMERICA. The combined company was headed by Giannini with Monnette serving as co-Chair.

While the names of many nationally chartered banks end with the initials 'N.A.' (National Association), Giannini picked a unique ending, National Trust and Savings Association, or 'NT&SA', because he wanted the name to highlight the different functions of the bank. BANKOFAMERICA was the only NT&SA in the country. Thanks to good management, but also to aggressive development of the branch banking concept, the bank was soon the largest in California.

[edit] Growth in California

Giannini also sought to build a national bank, expanding into most of the western states as well as into the insurance industry, under the aegis of his holding company, Transamerica Corporation. BANKOFAMERICA NT&SA also had banking relationships in international financial markets. Largely out of fear that Giannini would succeed in his efforts to create a nationwide bank, federal legislation prohibited banks from accepting deposits in states where they were not headquartered. This led to the creation of the bank holding company which could own a separate bank in each state.

The passage of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956, prohibited banks from owning non-banking subsidiaries such as insurance companies. BANKOFAMERICA and Transamerica were separated, with the latter company continuing in the insurance business. However, federal banking regulators prohibited BANKOFAMERICA's interstate banking activity, and BANKOFAMERICA's domestic banks outside of California were forced into a separate company that eventually became First Interstate Bancorp, which was acquired by Wells Fargo and Company in 1996. It was not until the 1980s with a change in federal banking legislation and regulation that BANKOFAMERICA was again able to expand its domestic consumer banking activity outside of California.

California was the nation's fastest growing state during the post-World War II boom, with the highest use of checking accounts (partially driven by many soldiers being paid via bank accounts during World War II), resulting in BANKOFAMERICA being swamped by checks. By 1949 , the branches had to close at 2:00pm in order to process the bookkeeping by 5:00 p.m. To cope with the transaction volume, the bank invested heavily in information technology and is generally credited, together with General Electric and SRI International, with inventing modern centralized bank operations, along with a number of financial transaction processing technologies such as automatic check processing, account numbers, and Magnetic Ink Character Recognition. Because of the efficiency of these technologies, the bank had significantly lower administrative costs than other banks and was able to expand until it became the world's largest bank in the early 1970s.

These technologies also enabled credit cards to be linked directly to individual bank accounts. In 1958, the bank invented the bank credit card, the BankAmericard, which changed its name to VISA in 1977. A consortium of other California banks came up with Master Charge (now MasterCard) in order to compete with BankAmericard.

[edit] Expansion outside of California

Following passage of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1967, BankAmerica Corporation was established for the purpose of owning BANKOFAMERICA and its subsidiaries.

BankAmerica expanded outside California in 1983 with its acquisition of Seafirst Corporation of Seattle, Washington, and its wholly owned banking subsidiary, Seattle-First National Bank. Seafirst was at risk of seizure by the federal government after becoming insolvent due to a series of bad loans to the oil industry. BankAmerica continued to operate its new subsidiary as Seafirst rather than BANKOFAMERICA until the 1998 merger with NationsBank.

BankAmerica was dealt huge losses in 1986 and 1987 due to the placement of a series of bad loans in the Third World, particularly in Latin America. The company fired its CEO, Sam Armacost, although Armacost blamed the problems on his predecessor, A.W. (Tom) Clausen, who was then appointed to replace Armacost. The losses resulted in a huge decline of BankAmerica stock, making it vulnerable to a hostile takeover. First Interstate Bancorp of Los Angeles (which had originated from banks once owned by BankAmerica), launched such a bid in the fall of 1986, although BankAmerica rebuffed it, mostly by selling its FinanceAmerica subsidiary to Chrysler, and by selling the brokerage firm Charles Schwab and Co. back to Mr. Schwab. On the day of the 1987 stock market crash, BankAmerica was trading at $8 per share, although by 1992 it had rebounded mightily to become one of the biggest gainers of that half-decade. The selling of the corporate headquarters building in downtown San Francisco to raise capital was a symbolic blow to the bank.[citation needed]

BankAmerica's next big acquisition came in 1992. The company acquired its California rival, Security Pacific Corporation and its subsidiary Security Pacific National Bank in California and other banks in Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and Washington (which Security Pacific had acquired in a series of acquisitions in the late 1980s). This was, at the time, the biggest bank acquisition in history. Federal regulators nevertheless forced the sale of Security Pacific's Washington subsidiary, Rainier Bank, because the combination of Seafirst and Rainier would have given BankAmerica too large a share of the market in that state. Later that year, BankAmerica expanded into Nevada by acquiring Valley Bank of Nevada.

In 1994 , BankAmerica acquired the Continental Illinois National Bank and Trust Co. of Chicago, which had become federally owned as part of the same oil industry debacle that had brought down Seafirst. At the time, no bank had the resources to bail out Continental, so the federal government operated the bank for nearly a decade. Illinois at that time regulated branch banking extremely heavily, so BANKOFAMERICA Illinois was a single-unit bank until the 21st century. BankAmerica moved its national lending department to Chicago in an effort to establish a financial beachhead in the region.

These mergers helped BankAmerica Corporation once again become the largest U.S. bank holding company in terms of deposits, but the company fell to second place in 1997 behind fast-growing NationsBank Corporation, and to third in 1998 behind North Carolina's First Union Corp. In 1998, BankAmerica and NationsBank executed a merger-of-equals and changed the headquarters to Charlotte, North Carolina.

[edit] Merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica

In 1997, BankAmerica lent D.E. Shaw & Co., a large hedge fund, $1.4bn so that the hedge fund would run various businesses for the bank. However, D.E. Shaw suffered significant loss after 1998 Russia bond default. BankAmerica was later acquired by NationsBank that year.

The purchase of BankAmerica Corp. by the NationsBank Corporation was the largest bank acquisition in history at that time. While the deal was technically a purchase of BankAmerica Corporation by NationsBank, the deal was structured as merger with NationsBank renamed to BANKOFAMERICA Corporation, and BANKOFAMERICA NT&SA, changing its name to BANKOFAMERICA, N.A. as the remaining legal bank entity. The bank still operates under Federal Charter 13044 which was granted to Giannini's Bank of Italy on March 1, 1927. However, SEC filings before 1998 are listed under NationsBank, not BankAmerica.

Following the US$64.8 billion acquisition of BankAmerica by NationsBank, the resulting BANKOFAMERICA had combined assets of US$570 billion, as well as 4,800 branches in 22 states. Despite the mammoth size of the two companies, federal regulators insisted only upon the divestiture of 13 branches in New Mexico, in towns that would be left with only a single bank following the combination. This is because branch divestitures are only required if the combined company will have a larger than 25 percent FDIC deposit market share in a particular state or 10 percent deposit market share overall.

[edit] History since 1998

In 2001 , BANKOFAMERICA CEO and chairman Hugh McColl stepped down and named Ken Lewis as his successor. Lewis's greater focus on financial discipline and efficiency contrasted greatly with the expansionary mergers and acquisition strategy of his predecessor.

[edit] Acquisition of National Processing Company

In 2004 , BANKOFAMERICA purchased Louisville, Kentucky-based National Processing Company for $1.4 billion from National City Corp. The renamed company - BA Merchant Services - has been processing one in every five VISA and MasterCard transactions. The company also has been providing financial solutions for travel and healthcare companies. BA Merchant Services has been headquartered in Louisville.

[edit] FleetBoston Financial merger

Also in 2004 , BANKOFAMERICA acquired Boston, Massachusetts-based FleetBoston Financial for $47 billion to solidify BANKOFAMERICA's position as the bank with the largest FDIC-rated deposit market share in the United States with $513 billion in deposits, well ahead of the number two bank holding company, newly-merged JPMorgan Chase-Bank One with $353 billion in deposits and number three Wells Fargo & Co. with $228 billion (as of 30 June 2003).

[edit] Purchase of MBNA

On 30 June 2005, BANKOFAMERICA announced it would purchase credit card giant MBNA for $35 billion in cash and stock. The Federal Reserve Board gave final approval to the merger on 15 December 2005, and the merger closed on 1 January 2006. The combined BANKOFAMERICA Card Services organization - including the former MBNA - will have more than 40 million U.S. accounts and nearly $140 billion in outstanding balances.

[edit] Divestiture of Brazil operations

In May 2006, the BANKOFAMERICA and Banco Itau - (Investimentos Ita S.A.) entered into an acquisition agreement through which the Banco agreed to acquire BankBoston's operations in Brazil. BankBoston's Brazil includes asset management, private banking, a credit card portfolio, and small, middle-market, and large corporate segments. It has 66 branches and 203,000 clients in Brazil. BankBoston in Chile has 44 branches and 58,000 clients and in Uruguay it has 15 branches. In addition, there is also a credit card Company, OCA, in Uruguay, which has 23 branches. BankBoston N.A. in Uruguay, together with OCA, jointly serve 372,000 clients. After the merger The BankBoston name and trademarks were not part of the transaction and, as part of the sale agreement, cannot be used by BANKOFAMERICA. That, in practical terms, deemed the definite extinction of the BankBoston brand. Itau also received exclusive rights to purchase BankBoston's operations in Chile and Uruguay. In return, BANKOFAMERICA has taken about a 6% stake in Itau. Banco Boston do Brazil had been founded in 1947 . With the purchase, the BankBoston name will disappear from Brazil as BANKOFAMERICA has retained the rights to the name and in which they can't use the name due to the merger agreements.

[edit] Plans to acquire LaSalle Bank

On April 23, 2007, BANKOFAMERICA announced plans to acquire LaSalle Bank Corporation from ABN AMRO for $21 billion,[6] which will increase BANKOFAMERICA's presence in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana. BANKOFAMERICA was also expected to thereby become the largest bank in the Chicago market. The sale is expected to close in late 2007 or early 2008.[7] The LaSalle acquisition would put BANKOFAMERICA just above the 10% mandated limit imposed by the Federal government of the total bank deposits in the country. However, on May 3, 2007 a Dutch court blocked the sale until it can be approved by shareholders of ABN AMRO as part of a larger merger discussion involving Barclays Bank and Royal Bank of Scotland(RBS). RBS has made a competing $24.5 billion bid for LaSalle Bank.[8]

[edit] BANKOFAMERICA today
Typical BANKOFAMERICA local office
Typical BANKOFAMERICA local office

As a result of its mergers and acquisitions, BANKOFAMERICA is now the largest issuer of credit, debit and prepaid cards in the world based on total purchase volume, as well as the largest consumer and small business bank in the United States.

BANKOFAMERICA today is comprised of three main divisions.

[edit] Consumer

Global Consumer and Small Business Banking is the largest division in the company, and deals primarily with consumer banking and credit card issuance. The acquisition of FleetBoston and MBNA significantly expanded its size and range of services, resulting in about 51% of the company's total revenue in 2005. It competes directly with the retail banking divisions of Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. The GC&SBB organization includes over 5,700 retail branches and over 17,000 ATMs across the United States.

[edit] Corporate

Global Corporate and Investment Banking, also known as Banc of America Securities, provides mergers and acquisitions advisory, underwriting, as well as trading in fixed income and equities markets. Its strongest groups include Leveraged Finance, Syndicated Loans, and Mortgage Backed Securities. It also has one of the largest research teams on Wall Street.

[edit] Investment Management

Global Wealth and Investment Management manages assets of institutions and individuals. It is among the 10 largest U.S. wealth managers (ranked by private banking assets under management in accounts of $1 million or more as of June 30, 2005). In July 2006, Chairman Ken Lewis announced that GWIM's total assets under management exceeded $500,000,000,000. GWIM has five primary lines of business: Premier Banking & Investments (including Banc of America Investment Services, Inc.), The Private Bank, Family Wealth Advisors, Columbia Management Group, and Banc of America Specialist.

BANKOFAMERICA is currently constructing a massive new headquarters for its New York City operations. The skyscaper will be located on 42nd Street and Avenue of the Americas, at Bryant Park, and will feature state of the art, environmentally friendly technology throughout its 1.2 million square feet (111,484 m?) of office space. The building will be the headquarters for the company's investment banking division, and will also host most of BANKOFAMERICA's New York based staff.

[edit] Social responsibility

In the mid 2000s, BANKOFAMERICA began accentuating its charitable side. In addition to its new eco-friendly office tower in Manhattan, BANKOFAMERICA has pledged to spend billions on commercial lending and investment banking for projects that it considers "green". The corporation, which already supplied all of its employees with cash incentives to buy hybrid vehicles, is also helping its customers be eco-friendly by rolling out a new credit card program in 2007 that would donate money to helping the environment, as well as providing mortgage loan breaks for customers whose homes qualified as energy efficient.[9]

In addition to trying to help the environment, BANKOFAMERICA has also donated money to help health centers in Massachusetts[10] and made donations to help homeless shelters in Miami.[11]

[edit] Controversy and criticism

Main article: BANKOFAMERICA controversies

BANKOFAMERICA has been involved in a number of controversial issues. Many of its policies, such as "biggest check first" check clearing, overdraft fee policies, and early account closures, have become heavily criticized. BANKOFAMERICA controversies details some of the more notable and public issues.

[edit] International operations

In 2005, BANKOFAMERICA acquired a 9% stake in China Construction Bank, China's second largest bank, for $3 billion.[12] It represented the company's largest foray into China's growing banking sector. BANKOFAMERICA currently has offices in Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Guangzhou and is looking to greatly expand its Chinese business as a result of this deal. BANKOFAMERICA has also invested in opening new branches in India, particularly Mumbai.

BANKOFAMERICA operated under the name BankBoston in many other Latin American countries, including Brazil. In 2006, BANKOFAMERICA sold all BankBoston's operations to Brazilian bank Banco Itau, in exchange for Itau shares. The BankBoston name and trademarks were not part of the transaction and, as part of the sale agreement, cannot be used by BANKOFAMERICA. That, in practical terms, deemed the definite extinction of the BankBoston brand.

BANKOFAMERICA's Global Corporate and Investment Banking spans the Globe with divisions in United States, Europe and Asia. The U.S. headquarters are located in New York, European headquarters are based in London and Asia's headquarters are split between Singapore & Hong Kong.

[edit] BANKOFAMERICA corporate buildings
BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Tampa, Florida
BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Tampa, Florida

* BANKOFAMERICA Fifth Avenue Plaza in Seattle
* Columbia Center in Seattle (formerly known as BANKOFAMERICA Tower)
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in St Petersburg, FL
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Providence, RI
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in New York City (under construction)
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Jacksonville, FL
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Albuquerque, NM
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Hong Kong
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Tampa, FL
* BANKOFAMERICA Plaza in St Louis
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Richmond, VA
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Miami, FL
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Lubbock, TX
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Los Angeles
* BANKOFAMERICA Tower in Boca Raton
* BANKOFAMERICA Center in Houston
* BANKOFAMERICA Center in San Francisco
* BANKOFAMERICA Banking Center in Washington DC (across from the White House)
* BANKOFAMERICA Plaza in Atlanta, GA
* BANKOFAMERICA Plaza in Charlotte, NC which is adjacent to the BANKOFAMERICA Corporate Center
* BANKOFAMERICA Plaza in Dallas, TX
* BANKOFAMERICA Building in Chicago, Illinois

[edit] Diversity
BANKOFAMERICA in Washington, D.C.
BANKOFAMERICA in Washington, D.C.

BANKOFAMERICA was named one of the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers in 2004 by Working Mothers magazine. Furthermore, Amy Woods Brinkley, the Bank's Global Risk Executive, and Barbara Desoer, the Bank's Global Technology and Service Fulfillment Executive, were named two of the most powerful women in Banking by US Banker magazine, and were among the "top 50 most powerful women in business," as ranked by Fortune.