Bank Of America Turned A Profit

When you don't have billions upon billions in legal fees to cover, the world is your oyster.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Bank of America Corp, the No. 2 U.S. bank by assets, reported a better-than-expected first-quarter profit, reversing from a year-earlier loss, as legal costs fell steeply and the bank earned more from mortgage lending. BofA reported a surprise loss in the year-earlier quarter after taking a charge of $6 billion for legal costs. Litigation expenses fell to $370 million in the latest quarter, suggesting again that the worst of the bank's legal troubles may be over. BofA has paid at least $70 billion so far to settle legal issues related to the financial crisis, undermining cost-cutting initiatives introduced by Chief Executive Brian Moynihan since he took the bank's top job in 2010. [Reuters]

Related

Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

Project New BAC continues, only now that it's worked out some of the initial kinks, management is going to fire people a lot faster that before. Chief Executive Officer Brian T. Moynihan, 52, is relying on expense cuts to improve profit as mortgage losses and regulation squeeze revenue. The earlier phase of his efficiency plan, called Project New BAC, targeted $5 billion in costs and 30,000 jobs...The lender had 275,460 employees at June 30, compared with 278,688 on March 31 and about 288,000 at the end of last year’s second quarter. The number of banking centers in the U.S. fell by 148 in the 12 months ended June 30 to 5,594...The new round of cost cuts will come at a faster rate than the first phase, Chief Financial Officer Bruce Thompson said today on the call. The $3 billion in savings will probably be realized at about $1 billion per year, he said. Moynihan told employees in January that he expected Project New BAC to eliminate a total of $6 billion to $8 billion a year in expenses, Bloomberg News reported. The bank said today it’s on track to realize $1 billion of the cost savings from the first phase by the end of this year. [Bloomberg]

Bank Of America Wins (Unofficial) Deal-Making Award For Remarkable Achievement

Remember when Bank of America bought Countrywide in 2008 and CFC Chief Executive Officer/Oracle Angelo Mozilo said they wouldn't be sorry and it wouldn't be long before BofA would "reap what Countrywide hath sowed"? He wasn't kidding and now, finally, BAC and Ken Lewis, the guy who had the foresight to do the deal, are having their vision and skills recognized. Bank of America thought it had a bargain four years ago when it paid $2.5 billion for tottering mortgage lender Countrywide Financial Corp. But the ill-fated decision has already cost the Charlotte, N.C., lender more than $40 billion in real-estate losses, legal expenses and settlements with state and federal agencies, according to people close to the bank. "It is the worst deal in the history of American finance," said Tony Plath, a banking and finance professor at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. "Hands down." Bank Of America's $40 Billion Mistake [WSJ]

Layoffs Watch '12: Bank Of America

...needs a few more years to get through its "cost-cutting initiative." Head count dropped by 3,000 from last quarter, the bank said today. Bank of America this quarter entered the second phase of "Project New BAC," its companywide cost-cutting initiative, targeting a $5 billion reduction in spending by the bank by the end of 2014. Some of that will come from job cuts, the bank has said, as it plans to reduce the number of positions at the bank by 30,000 over the next three years...The current phase of New BAC will be focused on saving money in its commercial banking, global wealth and investment management, world-wide corporate banking, global markets and some support functions. The spokesman could not confirm that future reductions will be limited only in these businesses, as "some of the ideas that came from Phase 1 will take a number of years to implement." [FINS]