Commitments and Contingencies
|9 Months Ended|
Sep. 30, 2013
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
In the normal course of business, the Corporation enters into a number of off-balance sheet commitments. These commitments expose the Corporation to varying degrees of credit and market risk and are subject to the same credit and market risk limitation reviews as those instruments recorded on the Consolidated Balance Sheet. For more information on commitments and contingencies, see Note 13 – Commitments and Contingencies to the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Corporation's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The Corporation enters into commitments to extend credit such as loan commitments, standby letters of credit and commercial letters of credit to meet the financing needs of its customers. The Credit Extension Commitments table includes the notional amount of unfunded legally binding lending commitments net of amounts distributed (e.g., syndicated) to other financial institutions of $21.0 billion and $23.9 billion at September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012. At September 30, 2013, the carrying value of these commitments, excluding commitments accounted for under the fair value option, was $499 million, including deferred revenue of $19 million and a reserve for unfunded lending commitments of $480 million. At December 31, 2012, the comparable amounts were $534 million, $21 million and $513 million, respectively. The carrying value of these commitments is classified in accrued expenses and other liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheet.
The table below also includes the notional amount of commitments of $14.7 billion and $18.3 billion at September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012 that are accounted for under the fair value option. However, the table below excludes cumulative net fair value adjustments of $412 million and $528 million on these commitments, which are classified in accrued expenses and other liabilities. For more information regarding the Corporation's loan commitments accounted for under the fair value option, see Note 17 – Fair Value Option.
Legally binding commitments to extend credit generally have specified rates and maturities. Certain of these commitments have adverse change clauses that help to protect the Corporation against deterioration in the borrower's ability to pay.
At September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the Corporation had unfunded equity investment commitments of $235 million and $307 million.
At September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the Corporation had commitments to purchase loans (e.g., residential mortgage and commercial real estate) of $1.4 billion and $1.3 billion, which upon settlement will be included in loans or LHFS.
At September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the Corporation had commitments to enter into forward-dated resale and securities borrowing agreements of $92.3 billion and $67.3 billion, and commitments to enter into forward-dated repurchase and securities lending agreements of $59.1 billion and $42.3 billion. All of these commitments expire within the next 12 months.
The Corporation is a party to operating leases for certain of its premises and equipment. Commitments under these leases are approximately $731 million, $2.7 billion, $2.4 billion, $2.0 billion and $1.6 billion for the remainder of 2013 and the years through 2017, respectively, and $7.1 billion in the aggregate for all years thereafter.
Bank-owned Life Insurance Book Value Protection
The Corporation sells products that offer book value protection to insurance carriers who offer group life insurance policies to corporations, primarily banks. The book value protection is provided on portfolios of intermediate investment-grade fixed-income securities and is intended to cover any shortfall in the event that policyholders surrender their policies and market value is below book value. These guarantees are recorded as derivatives and carried at fair value in the trading portfolio. At September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the notional amount of these guarantees totaled $13.3 billion and $13.4 billion and the Corporation's maximum exposure related to these guarantees at both dates totaled $3.0 billion with estimated maturity dates between 2030 and 2040. The net fair value including the fee receivable associated with these guarantees was $42 million and $52 million at September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, and reflects the probability of surrender as well as the multiple structural protection features in the contracts.
Employee Retirement Protection
The Corporation sells products that offer book value protection primarily to plan sponsors of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) governed pension plans, such as 401(k) plans and 457 plans. The book value protection is provided on portfolios of intermediate/short-term investment-grade fixed-income securities and is intended to cover any shortfall in the event that plan participants continue to make qualified withdrawals after all securities have been liquidated and there is remaining book value. The Corporation retains the option to exit the contract at any time. If the Corporation exercises its option, the investment manager will either terminate the contract or convert the portfolio into a high-quality fixed-income portfolio, typically all government or government-backed agency securities, with the proceeds of the liquidated assets to assure the return of principal. To manage its exposure, the Corporation imposes restrictions and constraints on the timing of the withdrawals, the manner in which the portfolio is liquidated and the funds are accessed, and the investment parameters of the underlying portfolio. These constraints, combined with significant structural protections, are designed to provide adequate buffers and guard against payments even under extreme stress scenarios. These guarantees are recorded as derivatives and carried at fair value in the trading portfolio. At September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the notional amount of these guarantees totaled $6.1 billion and $18.4 billion with estimated maturity dates up to 2017 if the exit option is exercised on all deals. The decline in notional amount in the nine months ended September 30, 2013 was primarily the result of plan sponsors terminating contracts pursuant to exit options. As of September 30, 2013, the Corporation had not made a payment under these products.
In accordance with credit and debit card association rules, the Corporation sponsors merchant processing servicers that process credit and debit card transactions on behalf of various merchants. In connection with these services, a liability may arise in the event of a billing dispute between the merchant and a cardholder that is ultimately resolved in the cardholder's favor. If the merchant defaults on its obligation to reimburse the cardholder, the cardholder, through its issuing bank, generally has until six months after the date of the transaction to present a chargeback to the merchant processor, which is primarily liable for any losses on covered transactions. However, if the merchant processor fails to meet its obligation to reimburse the cardholder for disputed transactions, then the Corporation, as the sponsor, could be held liable for the disputed amount. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013, the sponsored entities processed and settled $154.7 billion and $460.9 billion of transactions and recorded losses of $4 million and $12 million. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2012, the sponsored entities processed and settled $153.9 billion and $442.7 billion of transactions and recorded losses of $3 million and $7 million. A significant portion of this activity was processed by a joint venture in which the Corporation holds a 49 percent ownership. At September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the sponsored merchant processing servicers held as collateral $207 million and $202 million of merchant escrow deposits which may be used to offset amounts due from the individual merchants.
The Corporation believes the maximum potential exposure for chargebacks would not exceed the total amount of merchant transactions processed through Visa and MasterCard for the last six months, which represents the claim period for the cardholder, plus any outstanding delayed-delivery transactions. As of September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012, the maximum potential exposure for sponsored transactions totaled $260.4 billion and $263.9 billion. However, the Corporation believes that the maximum potential exposure is not representative of the actual potential loss exposure and does not expect to make material payments in connection with these guarantees.
Other Derivative Contracts
The Corporation funds selected assets, including securities issued by CDOs and CLOs, through derivative contracts, typically total return swaps, with third parties and VIEs that are not consolidated on the Consolidated Balance Sheet. The total notional amount of these derivative contracts was $2.4 billion and $2.9 billion with commercial banks and $1.4 billion with VIEs at both September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012. The underlying securities are senior securities and substantially all of the Corporation's exposures are insured. Accordingly, the Corporation's exposure to loss consists principally of counterparty risk to the insurers. In certain circumstances, generally as a result of ratings downgrades, the Corporation may be required to purchase the underlying assets, which would not result in additional gain or loss to the Corporation as such exposure is already reflected in the fair value of the derivative contracts.
The Corporation has entered into additional guarantee agreements and commitments, including lease-end obligation agreements, partial credit guarantees on certain leases, real estate joint venture guarantees, sold risk participation swaps, divested business commitments and sold put options that require gross settlement. The maximum potential future payment under these agreements was approximately $6.7 billion and $6.8 billion at September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012. The estimated maturity dates of these obligations extend up to 2033. The Corporation has made no material payments under these guarantees.
In the normal course of business, the Corporation periodically guarantees the obligations of its affiliates in a variety of transactions including ISDA-related transactions and non-ISDA related transactions such as commodities trading, repurchase agreements, prime brokerage agreements and other transactions.
Payment Protection Insurance Claims Matter
In the U.K., the Corporation previously sold payment protection insurance (PPI) through its international card services business to credit card customers and consumer loan customers. PPI covers a consumer's loan or debt repayment if certain events occur such as loss of job or illness. In response to an elevated level of customer complaints across the industry, heightened media coverage and pressure from consumer advocacy groups, the U.K. Financial Services Authority investigated and raised concerns about the way some companies have handled complaints related to the sale of these insurance policies. In connection with this matter, the Corporation established a reserve for PPI. The reserve was $300 million and $510 million at September 30, 2013 and December 31, 2012. The Corporation recorded $66 million and $95 million of expense for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 compared to $267 million and $467 million for the same periods in 2012. It is reasonably possible that the Corporation will incur additional expense related to PPI claims; however, the amount of such additional expense cannot be reasonably estimated.
The following supplements the disclosure in Note 13 – Commitments and Contingencies to the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Corporation's 2012 Annual Report on Form 10-K and in Note 11 – Commitments and Contingencies to the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Corporation's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarterly periods ended June 30, 2013 and March 31, 2013 (the prior commitments and contingencies disclosure).
In the ordinary course of business, the Corporation and its subsidiaries are routinely defendants in or parties to many pending and threatened legal actions and proceedings, including actions brought on behalf of various classes of claimants. These actions and proceedings are generally based on alleged violations of consumer protection, securities, environmental, banking, employment, contract and other laws. In some of these actions and proceedings, claims for substantial monetary damages are asserted against the Corporation and its subsidiaries.
In the ordinary course of business, the Corporation and its subsidiaries are also subject to regulatory examinations, information gathering requests, inquiries, investigations, and threatened legal actions and proceedings. Certain subsidiaries of the Corporation are registered broker/dealers or investment advisors and are subject to regulation by the SEC, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the European Commission, the Prudential Regulatory Authority, the Financial Conduct Authority and other international, federal and state securities regulators. In connection with formal and informal inquiries by those agencies, such subsidiaries receive numerous requests, subpoenas and orders for documents, testimony and information in connection with various aspects of their regulated activities.
In view of the inherent difficulty of predicting the outcome of such litigation and regulatory matters, particularly where the claimants seek very large or indeterminate damages or where the matters present novel legal theories or involve a large number of parties, the Corporation generally cannot predict what the eventual outcome of the pending matters will be, what the timing of the ultimate resolution of these matters will be, or what the eventual loss, fines or penalties related to each pending matter may be.
In accordance with applicable accounting guidance, the Corporation establishes an accrued liability for litigation and regulatory matters when those matters present loss contingencies that are both probable and estimable. In such cases, there may be an exposure to loss in excess of any amounts accrued. When a loss contingency is not both probable and estimable, the Corporation does not establish an accrued liability. As a litigation or regulatory matter develops, the Corporation, in conjunction with any outside counsel handling the matter, evaluates on an ongoing basis whether such matter presents a loss contingency that is probable and estimable. If, at the time of evaluation, the loss contingency related to a litigation or regulatory matter is not both probable and estimable, the matter will continue to be monitored for further developments that would make such loss contingency both probable and estimable. Once the loss contingency related to a litigation or regulatory matter is deemed to be both probable and estimable, the Corporation will establish an accrued liability with respect to such loss contingency and record a corresponding amount of litigation-related expense. The Corporation continues to monitor the matter for further developments that could affect the amount of the accrued liability that has been previously established. Excluding expenses of internal or external legal service providers, litigation-related expense of $1.1 billion and $3.8 billion was recognized for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2013 compared to $1.6 billion and $3.3 billion for the same periods in 2012.
For a limited number of the matters disclosed in this Note, and in the prior commitments and contingencies disclosure, for which a loss is probable or reasonably possible in future periods, whether in excess of a related accrued liability or where there is no accrued liability, the Corporation is able to estimate a range of possible loss. In determining whether it is possible to provide an estimate of loss or range of possible loss, the Corporation reviews and evaluates its material litigation and regulatory matters on an ongoing basis, in conjunction with any outside counsel handling the matter, in light of potentially relevant factual and legal developments. These may include information learned through the discovery process, rulings on dispositive motions, settlement discussions, and other rulings by courts, arbitrators or others. In cases in which the Corporation possesses sufficient appropriate information to develop an estimate of loss or range of possible loss, that estimate is aggregated and disclosed below. There may be other disclosed matters for which a loss is probable or reasonably possible but such an estimate may not be possible. For those matters where an estimate is possible, management currently estimates the aggregate range of possible loss is $0 to $5.1 billion in excess of the accrued liability (if any) related to those matters. This estimated range of possible loss is based upon currently available information and is subject to significant judgment and a variety of assumptions, and known and unknown uncertainties. The matters underlying the estimated range will change from time to time, and actual results may vary significantly from the current estimate, including as a result of the current and future governmental and regulatory environment. Those matters for which an estimate is not possible are not included within this estimated range. Therefore, this estimated range of possible loss represents what the Corporation believes to be an estimate of possible loss only for certain matters meeting these criteria. It does not represent the Corporation's maximum loss exposure. Information is provided below, or in the prior commitments and contingencies disclosure, regarding the nature of all of these contingencies and, where specified, the amount of the claim associated with these loss contingencies. Based on current knowledge, management does not believe that loss contingencies arising from pending matters, including the matters described herein, and in the prior commitments and contingencies disclosure, will have a material adverse effect on the consolidated financial position or liquidity of the Corporation. However, in light of the inherent uncertainties involved in these matters, some of which are beyond the Corporation's control, and the very large or indeterminate damages sought in some of these matters, an adverse outcome in one or more of these matters could be material to the Corporation's results of operations or cash flows for any particular reporting period.
FIRREA and False Claims Act Litigation
In the O’Donnell action, trial began on September 24, 2013. On October 23, 2013, a verdict of liability was returned against Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., Countrywide Bank, FSB and BANA. The Court may impose civil monetary penalties as early as December 2013. The Corporation is currently considering its options for appeal.
Fontainebleau Las Vegas Litigation
On August 30, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida entered an order requesting that the U.S. Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation (JPML) remand the disbursement agent claims in the Avenue Action back to the District of Nevada. On September 4, 2013, the JPML issued a conditional remand order (CRO) to remand the Avenue Action back to the District of Nevada. BANA filed a motion to vacate the CRO on September 26, 2013.
Interchange and Related Litigation
On August 16, 2013, the Corporation entered into an agreement to settle the Canadian interchange class actions for an amount not material to the Corporation’s results of operations. The settlement is subject to court approval in five provinces.
Mortgage-backed Securities Litigation
Civil RMBS Matter Filed by the DOJ and the SEC
On August 6, 2013, the DOJ and the SEC filed civil actions in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith (MLPF&S), BANA and Banc of America Mortgage Securities, Inc. (and, in the DOJ case, the Corporation). Both cases allege generally that the offering materials for a single 2008 RMBS offering contained material misstatements and omissions regarding, inter alia, the concentration of loans originated in the wholesale loan channel. The DOJ case asserts violations of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) and the SEC case asserts claims under Sections 17(a)(2) and (3) and Section 5(b)(1) of the Securities Act of 1933. The complaints demand unspecified damages and other relief. Defendants have until November 8, 2013 to answer or move to dismiss the complaints.
Luther Litigation and Related Actions
On August 8, 2013, the Multidistrict Litigation Court preliminarily approved the settlement of the Maine State, David H. Luther and Western Conference of Teamsters actions. The settlement provides, among other things, that all claims that have been asserted in any putative class action against Countrywide concerning Countrywide-issued MBS will be released and discharged upon final court approval of the settlement.
The Corporation has received a number of subpoenas and other requests for information from regulators and governmental authorities regarding MBS and other mortgage-related matters, including inquiries, investigations and potential proceedings related to a number of transactions involving the underwriting and issuance of MBS by the Corporation (including legacy entities the Corporation acquired) and participation in certain CDO offerings. These inquiries and investigations include, among others, an investigation by the SEC related to risk control, valuation, structuring, marketing and purchase of CDOs by MLPF&S, and investigations by the RMBS Working Group of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, including the DOJ, the SEC, the New York Attorney General (the NYAG) and the California Attorney General, concerning the purchase, securitization and underwriting of mortgage loans and RMBS. The Corporation has provided documents and testimony, and continues to cooperate fully with these inquiries and investigations.
The staff of the NYAG has advised that they intend to recommend filing an action against MLPF&S as a result of their RMBS investigation. In addition, the staff of a U.S. Attorney’s office recently advised that they intend to recommend that the DOJ file a civil action against affiliates of the Corporation related to the securitization of RMBS.
Mortgage Repurchase Litigation
Policemen's Annuity and Related Litigation
On August 23, 2013, the Vermont Pension Investment Committee and the Washington State Investment Board brought a new putative class action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York entitled Vermont Pension Investment Committee and the Washington State Investment Board v. Bank of America, N.A. and U.S. Bank National Association (Vermont Pension). The Vermont Pension action is based on similar factual allegations and the same claims and legal theories as the Policemen’s Annuity action, but concerns six different RMBS trusts collateralized by Washington Mutual-originated mortgages for which BANA is the former trustee and U.S. Bank is the current trustee. As in Policemen’s Annuity, plaintiffs seek unspecified compensatory damages and/or equitable relief, and costs and expenses. The case was marked as related to Policemen’s Annuity and assigned to the same judge, who ordered the two cases coordinated for pre-trial purposes.
On August 26, 2013, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia granted the FDIC’s motion to dismiss BANA’s claims against the FDIC in its capacity as receiver for Colonial Bank. The court ruled that the order of judgment would be held in abeyance pending resolution of BANA’s challenge filed on July 22, 2013 to the FDIC’s No Value Determination.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://www.xbrl.org/2003/role/presentationRef