BANK OF AMERICA

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Bank of America Shareholders Approve FleetBoston Merger

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CHARLOTTE, March 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Bank of America shareholders today voted to approve the company's merger with FleetBoston Financial Corporation. The merger will bring unprecedented convenience and financial resources to customers across the country. Fleet shareholders also approved the proposed merger today. The merger is expected to close in early April.

"When this merger closes, Bank of America will have an unrivaled market position in America's growth and wealth markets," said Kenneth D. Lewis, Bank of America chairman and CEO. "Our company will have increased earnings and revenue diversity, creating stronger, more consistent results for shareholders. Our scale will enhance the leverage we get out of investments in technology and advertising, and our management team will be the best in the industry.

"Our customers will benefit from the broadest retail franchise in the nation, a shared commitment to service excellence, and a full range of traditional and innovative financial products and services," Lewis continued. "What we will provide our customers is a combination of convenience, quality and innovation never seen before in the financial services industry in this country."

Large and mid-sized corporations will also be able to leverage a broad product suite that includes comprehensive capital-raising solutions, advisory services, equity and debt sales and trading capabilities, extensive derivatives and other risk management products, and robust treasury services.

Earlier this year, Bank of America announced a new $750 billion community development commitment. The new goal builds on the outstanding track records of Bank of America and Fleet in delivering greater access to capital and credit to low- and moderate-income individuals, families and communities. The company additionally pledged that more than $100 billion of this new goal will be achieved through lending and investments in Fleet markets.

The merger will create the country's largest financial network with more than 16,500 ATMs and 5,700 banking centers, award-winning online banking and bill pay services as well as 24-hour telephone banking.

Bank of America is one of the world's largest financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small businesses and large corporations and institutions with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience for consumers in the United States, serving 1 in 3 American households with 4,200 banking centers, more than 13,100 ATMs and award-winning internet site with more than seven million active online users. Bank of America is rated the number one Small Business Administration Lender in the United States by the SBA. The company serves clients in 150 countries and has relationships with 94 percent of the U.S. Fortune 500 companies and 76 percent of the Global Fortune 500. The seventh most profitable company in the United States, Bank of America had $736 billion in assets, $414 billion in deposits and a market capitalization of $115.9 billion at December 31, 2003. Bank of America Corporation stock (ticker: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange. For more information, please go to www.bankofamerica.com .

SOURCE Bank of America Corporation
03/17/2004

CONTACT: Investors, Kevin Stitt, +1-704-386-5667, or Lee McEntire, +1-704-388-6780, Media, Eloise Hale, +1-704-387-0013, all of Bank of America
Web site: http://www.bankofamerica.com
(BAC)