Bank of America Corp (BAC) Submits Revised Capital Plan

By Mani
Updated on

Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) said Tuesday it had resubmitted a revised capital plan to the Federal Reserve following a capital error that caused it to shelve the original plan.

The bank said Tuesday that the changes will lead to less than a one basis point reduction in reported capital ratios for the period that ended Sept. 30, 2013 and will have no effect for the period that ended March 31 of this year.

Capital error

While unveiling its results last month, Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) indicated it would increase the capital actions it had reported previously. The bank proposed raising its common stock dividend to five cents per share in the second quarter and had planned a new $4 billion common share buyback program.

However, last month the bank said it would be suspending its share buyback program and the planned increase in its dividend after it discovered flaws in the information it submitted to the Fed as part of the stress test process. The bank attributed the error to an incorrect adjustment related to the treatment of structured notes assumed in its 2009 acquisition of Merrill Lynch. The announcement marked a serious blow for a bank that had passed the stress test easily and was permitted to increase its dividend for the first time since the financial crisis.

Bank of America to resubmit a new capital plan

The Fed had given Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) until Tuesday to submit a new capital plan. The bank disclosed Tuesday that the new request is smaller than the original plan. The bank said the Fed has 75 days to review the new plan. It also said that “there can be no assurance as to the timing or outcome of the Federal Reserve’s review.”

Christina Rexrode and Michael Rapoport of The Wall Street Journal point out the bank’s capital error resulted from a fairly simple misstep. Banks are supposed to strip out only unrealized gains and losses on certain debt securities from regulatory capital ratios. But Bank of America Corp (NYSE:BAC) had been stripping out realized gains and losses too on the structured notes it assumed when it bought Merrill Lynch & Co. more than five years ago.

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