Commitments and Contingencies
|3 Months Ended|
Mar. 31, 2019
|Commitments and Contingencies Disclosure [Abstract]|
|Commitments and Contingencies||
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 12 – Commitments and Contingencies to the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Corporation’s 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
Credit Extension Commitments
The Corporation enters into commitments to extend credit such as loan commitments, standby letters of credit (SBLCs) and commercial letters of credit to meet the financing needs of its customers. The following table includes the notional amount of
unfunded legally binding lending commitments net of amounts distributed (i.e., syndicated or participated) to other financial institutions. The distributed amounts were $10.4 billion and $10.7 billion at March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018. At March 31, 2019, the carrying value of these commitments, excluding commitments accounted for under the fair value option, was $820 million, including deferred revenue of $18 million and a reserve for unfunded lending commitments of $802 million. At December 31, 2018, the comparable amounts were $813 million, $16 million and $797 million, respectively. The carrying value of these commitments is classified in accrued expenses and other liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheet.
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.
The table below also includes the notional amount of commitments of $3.1 billion at both March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018 that are accounted for under the fair value option. However, the table excludes cumulative net fair value of $106 million and $169 million at March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018 on these commitments, which is 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 16 – Fair Value Option.
At March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the Corporation had commitments to purchase loans (e.g., residential mortgage and commercial real estate) of $426 million and $329 million, which upon settlement will be included in loans or LHFS, and commitments to purchase commercial loans of $270 million and $463 million, which upon settlement will be included in trading account assets.
At March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the Corporation had commitments to purchase commodities, primarily liquefied natural gas, of $1.1 billion and $1.3 billion, which upon settlement will be included in trading account assets.
At March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the Corporation had commitments to enter into resale and forward-dated resale and securities borrowing agreements of $82.1 billion and $59.7 billion, and commitments to enter into forward-dated repurchase and securities lending agreements of $52.0 billion and $21.2 billion. These commitments expire primarily within the next 21 months.
At March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the Corporation had a commitment to originate or purchase up to $3.1 billion and $3.0 billion on a rolling 12-month basis, of auto loans and leases from a strategic partner. This commitment extends through November 2022 and can be terminated with 12 months prior notice.
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. At March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the notional amount of these guarantees totaled $9.1 billion and $9.8 billion. At March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the Corporation’s maximum exposure related to these guarantees totaled $1.4 billion and $1.5 billion, with estimated maturity dates between 2033 and 2039.
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. If the merchant processor fails to meet its obligation to reimburse the cardholder for disputed transactions, then the Corporation could be held liable. For the three months ended March 31, 2019 and 2018, the sponsored entities processed and settled $205.6 billion and $200.7 billion of transactions and recorded losses of $4 million and $8 million.
At March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018, the maximum potential exposure for sponsored transactions totaled $346.6 billion and $348.1 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.
A significant portion of our merchant processing activity is performed by a joint venture formed in 2009. At that time, the Corporation contributed its merchant processing business, valued at $4.7 billion, in exchange for a minority ownership interest in the venture. The joint venture is accounted for as an equity method investment and reported in All Other. Since 2009, the carrying value of the investment has decreased to $2.8 billion at March 31, 2019 due to cash distributions received, the Corporation’s proportionate share of income and an impairment charge recorded in 2011.
The term of the joint venture is governed by various operating agreements that automatically renew in accordance with their terms unless either partner gives a written notice of termination at least one year prior to the end of the term. The current term ends in June 2020. If either partner decides to terminate the joint venture, the fair value of the Corporation’s investment would no longer be based on the cash flows of the joint venture into perpetuity, but instead would be based primarily on the estimated fair value of finite-lived assets that would be received upon dissolution. That change would likely result in a material impairment of the investment.
Representations and Warranties Obligations and Corporate Guarantees
For more information on representations and warranties obligations and corporate guarantees, and the related reserve and estimated range of possible loss, see Note 12 – Commitments and Contingencies to the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Corporation’s 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K.
The reserve for representations and warranties obligations and corporate guarantees at March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018 was $1.9 billion and $2.0 billion and is included in accrued expenses and other liabilities on the Consolidated Balance Sheet and the related provision is included in other income in the Consolidated Statement of Income. The representations and warranties reserve represents the Corporation’s best estimate of probable incurred losses. It is reasonably possible that future representations and warranties losses may occur in excess of the amounts recorded for these exposures. See Litigation and Regulatory Matters below for the Corporation’s combined range of possible loss in excess of the reserve for representations and warranties and the accrued liability for litigation.
The Corporation has entered into additional guarantee agreements and commitments, including sold risk participation swaps, liquidity facilities, lease-end obligation agreements, partial credit guarantees on certain leases, real estate joint venture guarantees, divested business commitments and sold put options that require gross settlement. The maximum potential future payment under these agreements was approximately $6.1 billion and $5.9 billion at March 31, 2019 and December 31, 2018. The estimated maturity dates of these obligations extend up to 2040. The Corporation has made no material payments under these guarantees. For more information on maximum potential future payments under VIE-related liquidity commitments, see Note 7 – Securitizations and Other Variable Interest Entities.
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.
Guarantees of Certain Long-term Debt
The Corporation, as the parent company, fully and unconditionally guarantees the securities issued by BofA Finance LLC, a 100 percent owned finance subsidiary of the Corporation, and effectively provides for the full and unconditional guarantee of trust securities issued by certain statutory trust companies that are 100 percent owned finance subsidiaries of the Corporation.
Litigation and Regulatory Matters
The following disclosure supplements Note 12 – Commitments and Contingencies to the Consolidated Financial Statements of the Corporation’s 2018 Annual Report on Form 10-K, collectively the commitments and contingencies disclosures.
In the ordinary course of business, the Corporation and its subsidiaries are routinely defendants in or parties to many pending and threatened legal, regulatory and governmental actions and proceedings. In view of the inherent difficulty of predicting the outcome of such 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 the eventual outcome of the pending matters, the timing of the ultimate resolution of these matters, or any eventual loss, fines or penalties related to each pending matter.
In accordance with applicable accounting guidance, the Corporation establishes an accrued liability 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. Excluding expenses of internal and external legal service providers, litigation-related expense of $73 million and $116 million was recognized for the three months ended March 31, 2019 and 2018.
For a limited number of the matters disclosed in the commitments and contingencies disclosures for which a loss, whether in excess of a related accrued liability or where there is no accrued liability, is reasonably possible in future periods, the Corporation is able to estimate a range of possible loss. With respect to such matters, in cases in which the Corporation possesses sufficient appropriate information to estimate a 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 of the range of possible loss may not be possible. For those disclosed matters where an estimate of the range of possible loss is possible, as well as for representations and warranties exposures, management currently estimates the aggregate range of reasonably possible loss for these exposures is $0 to $1.9 billion in excess of the accrued liability, if any. 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. 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 in the commitments and contingencies disclosures regarding the nature of the litigation 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 in the commitments and contingencies disclosures, 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 liquidity for any particular reporting period.
Investigations of Precious Metals TradingTwo individuals formerly employed by Merrill Lynch Commodities, Inc. (MLCI) were previously indicted in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois for conduct that the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) alleges is a precious metals futures price manipulation scheme in violation of various laws, including statutes prohibiting commodities fraud. The DOJ and the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission are continuing investigations of precious metals market trading practices, primarily during the period 2009-2014, including with respect to potential liability of MLCI. The Corporation continues to cooperate with these investigations. A resolution of these investigations may impose monetary penalties and remedial actions.
The entire disclosure for commitments and contingencies.
Reference 1: http://fasb.org/us-gaap/role/ref/legacyRef