Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Bank of America CFO says little on capital error

Bank of America's chief financial officer on Wednesday fielded questions Wednesday about bank's recent revelation that it miscalculated its capital ratios but did not provide new details on the mistake.

Bruce Thompson spoke at a conference in London hosted by British bank Barclays. After giving a brief overview of the bank's performance in the first three months of this year, he was asked by an analyst how the miscalculation happened.

Thompson's explanation was similar to the one he and Bank of America officials provided at the bank's annual shareholders meeting in Charlotte last week. Among other things, Thompson said it was discovered by the bank and the finding was "escalated" to its board and regulators.

The bank disclosed the error April 28, saying that for years it had incorrectly accounted for a type of debt inherited in its 2009 Merrill Lynch acquisition. The mistake meant the bank had over-reported capital levels by about $4 billion. The miscalculation caused the bank to suspend a planned increase in its quarterly dividend from 1 cent to 5 cents.

As part of the annual stress testing process, the Fed in March had approved the bank's plan to raise its dividend and to buy back $4 billion in common stock. Bank of America has said its revised capital plan will return less capital to shareholders, but it has not provided additional details. The bank has until May 27 to resubmit the plan to the Federal Reserve.

"We're obviously working through that effort now," Thompson said.


Garth Vader said...

Ummm... isn't your job as "Bank Watch" to aggressively pursue BOA management until they adequately answer these questions?