Dec. 31, 2014, 12:23 PM| 12 Comments
Dec. 17, 2014, 4:30 PM
- To review, current global head of FICC David Sobotka - comfortable with the progress the struggling business has made - reportedly set a retirement date for year's end.
- He's to be replaced - reports the WSJ - by Bernard Mensah and James DeMare. Demare has been with BAC since 2008 and is currently head of global securitized products and real estate portfolio management. He'll continue to be based out of NYC.
- Mensah joined BofA in 2010, and currently runs FICC trading for EMEA. He'll continue to be based in London.
- Amid a tough time for FICC action in the banking industry, Bank of America managed to post an 11% Y/Y gain in Q3, though CEO Brian Moynihan has said Q4 isn't looking anywhere near as robust.
Dec. 17, 2014, 3:23 PM
- This time its the National Credit Union Administration Board, and it's suing Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) and U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) over losses on $5.8B in MBS.
- "Even after ample evidence came to light that the trusts were riddled with defective loans, defendants shut their eyes to such problems,” according to the complaint. “As participants in many roles in the securitization process, defendants were economically intertwined with the parties they were supposed to police.”
Dec. 17, 2014, 7:36 AM
- Jefferies yesterday posted a 73% plunge in fixed-income trading revenue for the quarter ended Nov. 30, and a 45% fall in equity-trading revenue. “You’re going to see weaker trading results because of what I’d call bad volatility,” says Charles Peabody, as firms cut back on stock and bond offerings.
- That Q4 trading revenue is going to be a weak one for the likes of JPM, C, BAC, GS, and MS shouldn't be a major surprise as Ciit's Mike Corbat, BofA's Brian Moynihan, and JPM's Marianne Lake said as much when presenting at a financial services conference earlier this month. But the weakness they described is nowhere near what was reported at Jefferies.
- Alongside the weak trading results, Jefferies is also looking to get rid of Bache - its commodities-trading business. "The fact that they are throwing in the towel on this business just a few years in would suggest that maybe that opportunity is not nearly as robust as they thought it would be,” says UBS's Brennan Hawken.
- Previously: Jefferies posts loss, mulling sale of Bache unit (Dec. 16, 2014)
Dec. 11, 2014, 9:20 AM
- SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) has partnered with BofA Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC) to form a new investment program for financing an estimated $400M in solar power projects in 2014 and 2015.
- The new residential program follows BofA Merrill's prior commitment to finance more than $200M in commercial solar power projects with SolarCity, and is part of BofA's current 10-year, $50B environmental business goal to advance lower-carbon economic solutions.
- SCTY +0.5%, BAC +0.6% premarket
Dec. 9, 2014, 2:12 PM
- "My feeling is that if a bank has proper reserves and it’s trading well below tangible book value, that is an undervalued bank," Mohnish Pabrai tells Barron's, quickly summing up the investment case for two of his holdings, Bank of America (BAC -1.1%) and Citigroup (C -1.1%). "You could shut down a bank today and if the reserves are correct you would get back the tangible book value."
- Both are trading a lot closer to book (or even above) then they were when he first invested, but Pabrai considers them still undervalued and expects they'll eventually trade more inline with the higher P/B and P/E multiples of Wells Fargo and JPMorgan.
- Of his $700M AUM fund which has outperformed the S&P by about 150 basis points annually over the last decade, the Buffett disciple Pabrai keeps fees down thanks to low overhead - he's the sole analyst and portfolio manager.
Dec. 9, 2014, 8:47 AM
- Already under pressure amid a sizable global selloff, Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) is now lower by 2.7% premarket after CEO Brian Moynihan, presenting at the Goldman Sachs financial services conference - warns Q4 trading revenue will fall both from Q3 and versus one year ago.
- There's been a lot of talk about higher interest rates, but they remain low, and Moynihan reminds of that negative impact to NII.
- Presentation slides
Dec. 8, 2014, 10:28 AM
- A combination of new regulations and near-zero interest rates has some banks - including JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), HSBC, Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) - privately telling larger clients to take their deposits elsewhere or face fees on accounts which have long been free.
- “Ultimately my balances aren’t as profitable for the banks, and that’s going to impact my business,” says an executive with a title insurance company, complaining of sleepless nights amid negotiations with his bankers.
- BNY Mellon (NYSE:BK) has begun charging institutional clients money to park money in euros, and State Street (NYSE:STT) says itwill soon begin doing so.
- Some bankers are advising large clients to break up large deposits across a number of lenders (including smaller banks not subject to the new regulations), and other corporations are going to find themselves needing to build more sophisticated (and riskier) portfolios likely including vehicles like short-term bond funds and uninsured money-market funds.
Dec. 5, 2014, 10:06 AM
- Among those counting on higher interest rates to boost profits are banks, insurers, and online brokers, and all are outliers to the upside in today's session after a strong November jobs report has rate hike expectations on the rise. The XLF is up 1%.
- TBTFs: Bank of America (BAC +2.1%), Citigroup (C +1.8%), JPMorgan (JPM +2.2%), Wells Fargo (WFC +1.2%)
- Regionals (KRE +1.9%): Regions Financial (RF +2.6%), KeyCorp (KEY +2.3%), Huntington (HBAN +1.5%), BB&T (BBT +1.6%), Zions (ZION +4%)
- Custodials: BNY Mellon (BNY), State Street (STT +1.6%), Northern Trust (NTRS +1.8%)
- Life insurers: MetLife (MET +2.1%), Prudential (PRU +2.5%), Lincoln National (LNC +2.3%)
- Online brokers: Schwab (SCHW +3.8%), E*Trade (ETFC +3%), Ameritrade (AMTD +2.7%)
- Previously: Short end of yield curve on the move after jobs number (Dec. 5, 2014)
- Previously: Bonds and dollar higher, gold slumps after strong jobs report (Dec. 5, 2014)
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, KIE, IAT, IAI, SEF, IYG, IAK, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, KBWP, KBWI, PSCF, FINZ, KRS
Dec. 2, 2014, 3:42 PM
- "Our concern is that the market has become complacent on the setting of the SIFI surcharge for the mega banks, which means there may be surprise at just how onerous the surcharge could be for JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC), Goldman Sachs (NYSE:GS) and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS)," writes Guggenheim's Jaret Seiberg.
- The Fed is expected to announce the capital surcharge on December 9.
- Previously: U.S. banks to be hit with tougher capital rule
Dec. 1, 2014, 11:40 AM
- A positive macro outlook for the U.S. (especially compared to the rest of the globe) should boost credit demand, says UBS - upgrading U.S. financials (NYSEARCA:XLF) to Overweight - while the start of a new rate-hike cycle next year bodes well for interest margins.
- UBS's three favored U.S. banks are Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), but TD Bank (NYSE:TD) also makes the buy list thanks to its large American presence.
- ETFs: XLF, FAS, FAZ, UYG, KRE, VFH, KBE, IYF, IAT, SEF, IYG, FXO, FNCL, KBWB, RKH, QABA, FINU, KRU, RWW, KBWR, RYF, FINZ, KRS
Nov. 29, 2014, 8:00 AM
- New guidelines - set to take full effect on December 1 - are the result of an agreement reached last month between banks and the GSEs meant to clarify exactly when lenders could be called to task for mortgages sold to Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC) which ultimately default. Since the financial crisis, Fannie and Freddie have forced banks to repurchase billions of dollars worth of mortgages, leaving them naturally gun-shy about making new loans to all but the most pristine of credits.
- “It’s providing greater certainty for all the parties so that you can lend more confidently and make the whole judgment process much easier and more clear cut,” says Mike Heid, president of Wells Fargo (NYSE:WFC) Home Mortgage. Along with SunTrust (NYSE:STI), Wells says borrowers should begin to see initial changes - such as faster processing times, reduced credit score requirements, and greater leeway to those whose credit history suffered due to one-time events - in a few weeks.
- "We will be able to be looser and open up the net wider," says Mason-McDuffie Mortgage CEO Bill Godfrey, now expecting to make loans down to a 620 credit score from 660 previously.
- Not everyone agrees: “Unless we are convinced that the rules are going to be permanent and there is not going to be a look back or a reach back in future times…we are simply going to stay on the sidelines," U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) boss Richard Davis has said, and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan made similar comments at a recent conference.
Nov. 26, 2014, 11:50 AM
- At issue was a SEC case against Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) mostly for mortgage-related wrongdoing by Merrill Lynch and Countrywide before the bank purchased the two. In this case, BofA will disgorge $109.2M in profit, $6.62M in interest, and pay a civil penalty of $109.2M.
- The clearing of this case will allow the $16.7B global mortgage settlement to move forward.
Nov. 17, 2014, 11:05 AM
- The two cases both come from Florida and involve so-called "stripping off," where a homeowner in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing can void second mortgage debt when the first mortgage is greater than a home's value.
- An appeals court allowed the practice, but Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) says the approach taken by the court is different than that of other appeals courts around the country and thousands of pending cases could be affected.
Nov. 13, 2014, 10:17 AM
- Real sweethearts if you believe the reports, the likes of JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM), Bank of America (NYSE:BAC), Citigroup (NYSE:C), and Synchrony Financial (NYSE:SYF) are being investigated by the Feds for still going after borrowers after their debt has been legally discharged in a bankruptcy.
- Paying little attention to such court-ordered discharges, the banks reportedly are keeping the debt alive on credit reports, more or less attempting to force borrowers to pay on bills which they no longer owe.
- The issue, say sources, is the way banks report to credit agencies. Once a debt is voided through bankruptcy, creditors must update credit reports showing that debt is cleared. Banks, however, routinely fail to do so, instead leaving notations of "past due" or "charged off." A clerical mistake would be one thing, but, according to a number of bankruptcy judges,, banks refuse to make corrections unless the borrower pays.
- The banks contend they are complying with all federal laws in their collection and sale of debt. Class-action suits have also been filed and the banks are trying to have them thrown out, arguing its third-party debt buyers who are in control.
Nov. 12, 2014, 1:02 PM
- The FHFA wants to ease lending standards - allowing down payments of as little as 3% - but Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) won't be playing along, says CEO Brian Moynihan, speaking at a BAML conference.
- Webcast replay
- "I don't think there's a big incentive for us to start to try to create more mortgage availability where the customers are susceptible to default," he says, and those who can't come up with at least a 10% down payment should probably consider remaining as renters. "You won't see us start to expand our criteria much past what we've done today."
- Given the shell-shock from the unceasing legal assault and put-back demands, can BofA or any other lender be blamed?
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Bank of America Corporation is a bank holding and a financial holding company. Through its subsidiaries, it provides banking and non-banking financial services and products throughout the United States and in selected international markets.
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