Tracing The Roots of Bank of America

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Bank of America is the largest bank holding company in the United States, its headquarters is in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the bank’s origins go back to 1904.

The financial institution is listed on the New York Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange, it employs up to 210,000 employees and generates billions of dollars in profit.

Bank America as it was previously known spread out beyond the borders of California in 1983 following the purchase of Seafirst Corporation of Seattle, and its banking subsidiary, Seattle-First National Bank. Seafirst at the time was at risk of being taken over by the federal authorities for going insolvent thanks to a number of bad loans it issued to the oil industry.

The BoA grew at the back of a long series of mergers and acquisitions, and its namesake was founded in 1923 as Bank of America, Los Angeles, by Orra E. Monnette. Through various laws and regulatory systems its growth was initially reduced to California.

Only after the removal of these restrictions did the expansion continue in 1983. In 1992 it purchased Security Pacific Corp, the largest ever takeover in banking history.

As of August 2009, the institution maintained 12.2% of all bank deposits in the United States, and forms part of the big four banking concerns of  America, together with Wells Fargo, Citigroup, JP Morgan and Chase.

The current Bank of America emerged through the acquisition of Bank of America by NationsBank in 1998. The new company continued its expansion plans, and also acquired the Boston-based FleetBoston Financial, whose origins date back to 1784.

 In 1960 the name in North Carolina National Bank was amended, after a series of acquisitions in Nations Bank. The Bank Americard is the predecessor of the VISA Card, Bank of America was its inventor with the publication of the first credit cards in 1959, and was renamed VISA in 1977.

Today, Bank of America is part of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 Index. Due to the 2007/2009 financial crisis, Bank of America was bailed out by the U.S. federal government for twenty billion U.S. dollars.

And in return the State was to receive Bank of America preferred shares. The shares of Bank of America fell during the crisis from $50 in April 2007 to a share price of $3.14 in March 2009.

 

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