Bank of America to Repurchase Auction Rate Securities
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CHARLOTTE, N.C., Sept. 10 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of America today announced an agreement in principle with the Massachusetts Securities Division under which it will offer to purchase at par auction rate securities ("ARS") held by its retail customers. Bank of America has informed the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") and the New York State Attorney General's Office ("NYAG") of the agreement, and continues to cooperate fully with the SEC's and the NYAG's ongoing investigations.
Bank of America's offer will provide liquidity to individual investors and certain businesses and charitable organizations that have been affected by unprecedented conditions in the global credit markets. The offer will cover approximately $4.5 billion in ARS held by an estimated 5,500 Bank of America customers.
The terms of the agreement in principle include the following:
-- The offer to purchase applies to individual investors and trusts for the benefit of individuals which purchased auction rate securities before February 11, 2008. It also applies to businesses with account values up to $10 million and charities with account values up to $25 million. It does not apply to auction rate securities where auctions are clearing.
-- Bank of America will compensate eligible customers who purchased ARS through the company prior to February 11, 2008, and sold such securities at a loss between that date and the date of this announcement.
-- To the extent that eligible customers believe they have a claim for consequential damages beyond the loss of liquidity in the individual customer's holdings of ARS or loss based on a sale at less than par, Bank of America will participate in a special arbitration process. The special arbitration process is available at the customer's election and will be overseen by FINRA with Bank of America paying FINRA's forum and filing fees.
-- The company will operate telephone assistance lines to answer questions and to assist eligible customers who wish to accept the offer. Customers can also visit http://www.bankofamerica.com and select investment services for information.
-- Bank of America's repurchase program will remain open for three months beginning the later of October 1, 2008, or as soon as practicable after the SEC provides definitive guidance on the mechanics of the program.
-- Bank of America will endeavor to work with issuers and other interested parties, including regulatory and government entities, to expeditiously and on a best efforts basis provide liquidity solutions for institutional customers.
-- Bank of America will refund refinancing fees it received from all municipal issuers that issued ARS in the primary market through Bank of America between August 1, 2007, and February 11, 2008, and refinanced those securities through the company after February 11, 2008.
-- The company neither admits nor denies allegations of wrongdoing.
Bank of America expects to record a pretax charge of approximately $275 million in connection with the purchase of auction rate securities from retail clients. The majority of this charge is the difference between the purchase price and the estimated value of the securities. The actual figure may vary from this preliminary estimate and will depend, among other things, on market conditions and the amount of securities purchased. The capital impact of bringing these assets onto Bank of America's balance sheet is expected to be minimal.
Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk-management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving more than 59 million consumer and small business relationships with more than 6,100 retail banking offices, more than 18,500 ATMs and award-winning online banking with more than 25 million active users. Bank of America offers industry leading support to more than 4 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients in more than 150 countries and has relationships with 99 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 83 percent of the Fortune Global 500. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is a component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average and is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. http://www.bankofamerica.com
SOURCE Bank of America
CONTACT: Jerry Dubrowski, +1-617-434-5460,