Bank of America is set to accept donations to support the American Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Tsunami Relief Fund at its more than 5,800 banking centers across the United States, for which the Bank will waive associated foreign transaction fees for credit card users sending to charitable relief efforts. This is part of Bank of America’s 100 million yen commitment to aid survivors of the earthquake and tsunami. This includes a 50 million yen grant to American Red Cross, which is working with the Japanese Red Cross Society to help meet the immediate needs of individuals and families.
Bank of America has amended previously filed call reports for 2009 and 2010 for its FIA Card Services subsidiary thanks to changes to processes covering legal entities implemented in 2010. The amendment covers all eight quarterly periods from 2009 and 2010 and is in call reports filed with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the FDIC, is thanks to a deteriorating credit quality and the adverse impact from The CARD Act on Bank of America’s credit card operations in 2009. It involves a non-cash, non-tax deductible charge related to a $20.3 billion goodwill impairment at FIA, which has now been recorded for that legal entity for the first half of 2009. Included in the amended call reports was the reversal of a $10.4 billion writedown of goodwill taken at FIA during 2010. Bank of America recorded a $10.4 billion impairment in the carrying value of the goodwill of Global Card Services in the third quarter of 2010 as previously reported.
Bank of America has been recognized as the most valuable banking brand in the world, according to the fifth edition of BrandFinance Global Banking 500. The report details how proactive marketing strategies and an improving domestic consumer banking market have seen the U.S. regain its place as the world’s financial capital, and with it, Bank of America increased in overall brand value by 15% to $30.6 billion. Founded in 1996, Brand Finance has performed thousands of branded business, brand and intangible asset valuations worth trillions of dollars.
Bank of America reported second-quarter 2010 net income of $3.1 billion, compared to net income of $3.2 billion a year ago, driven by lower credit costs. Bank of America agreed to sell its equity position in MasterCard, resulting in a pretax gain of approximately $440 million to focus on its core businesses and strengthen capital ratios. Its Global Card Services net income increased $2.4 billion compared to a year ago due to declining credit costs reflecting continued improvement in the U.S. economy; Revenue decreased $401 million from a year ago, driven by lower average loans and reduced interest and fee income primarily resulting from the implementation of the CARD Act, partially offset by the $440 million pretax gain on the sale of the MasterCard position. The division also reported a net loss of $9.9 billion due to the $10.4 billion goodwill impairment charge and would have otherwise reported net income of $529 million, compared to a net loss of $955 million a year ago.
Tito Vidaurri is set to Join Bank of America Merrill Lynch as Country Executive of Mexico and will join the emerging markets. Vidaurri, due to join BofA Merrill in April, will be leaving his current position as chief country officer, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Deutsche Bank’s Mexican commercial banking and brokerage businesses. Vidaurri’s banking and finance career in the U.S. and Latin America spans more than 25 years, over four years of which were spent at Deutsche Bank after heading Morgan Stanley’s north Latin American investment banking.
With only 16.3% of consumers having used credit cards over the Black Friday weekend, down from 30.9% in the year ago period, the top four Visa/Mastercard issuers witnessed a major drop in card charge-offs. Citi charge-offs declined slightly to 10.29% and BofA charge-offs declined from 13.22% in October to 13.00% in November. American Express reported its charge-off ratio dropped from a peak of 10.1% in April to 8.4% for September, 7.8% in October and 7.6% for November. Capital One reported its charge-off ratio rose to 9.60% for November from 9.04% in October. Discover said its managed net charge-off rate increased to 8.43% for the fourth quarter, up 295 basis points and four basis points from the prior year and the prior quarter, respectively. For complete details on the latest metrics visit CardData (www.carddata.com).
Keynote Competitive Research announced its 4Q/10 “Scorecard” ranked Bank of America the Overall Score winner with a score of 89 points out of 100. Bank of America also placed first in the Functionality and Privacy & Security categories and swept first place in all five required tasks, including: Open Accounts, Look-Up Information, Transact, Get Service and Learn and Plan. BB&T took first place in the Ease of Use category, while Citibank repeated as winner for Quality and Availability, a category that covers such best practices as bill pay guarantees, the availability of customer support for online banking, and Spanish-language online banking, where Citibank stands out among its peers.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch announced that the expanded capabilities for “Paymode-X” all-digital online payment and invoicing system powered by Bottomline Technologies are now part of its supply chain and treasury solutions. “Paymode-X” enables companies to better control and predict their cash flow, reduce processing costs and strengthen relationships with suppliers. New features include enhanced purchase order presentment and matching, more efficient invoice workflow and approval capabilities, along with the ability for buyers and their suppliers to negotiate discounts for prompt payment. Paymode-X connects users to a private network of more than 125,000 suppliers that accept electronic payments, allowing companies to rapidly convert suppliers to electronic invoice and payment processing. It also supports ACH, ePayables, wire and paper check print services though a single file integration.
Fiserv financial services has completed its cash tender offer to purchase up to $250,000,000 aggregate principal amount of its outstanding 6.125% senior notes due 2012. Notes with an aggregate principal amount of $554,143,000 have been tendered and not validly withdrawn. Fiserv accepted for purchase approximately 45.2% percent of the Notes validly tendered and not validly withdrawn pursuant to the offer on a pro rata basis (with adjustments downward to avoid the purchase of Notes in a principal amount other than in integral multiples of $1,000). Holders who validly tendered their Notes prior to the early tender date of September 27, 2010 received $1,100.00 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes tendered and accepted for payment, and holders who validly tendered their Notes thereafter received $1,070.00 per $1,000 principal amount of Notes tendered and accepted for payment.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch has signed a three-year agreement with VHA health care network to provide purchasing cards and ePayables to VHA member organizations nationwide. This allows VHA members to enjoy rebates on charge-related activities based on volume. VHA serves 1,400 not-for-profit hospitals and more than 30,000 non-acute care providers across the U.S., with a platform for members to network and collaborate on solutions to common challenges. Bank of America Merrill Lynch purchasing card and ePayables solutions will help VHA members eliminate paper-intensive processes involved in purchases and vendor payments allowing them to manage available funds in real time, reducing risk and increasing control.
Bank of America Merchant Services will offer the First Data “TransArmor” solution to its U.S. merchant base, allowing merchants to further secure and manage cardholder data. The “TransArmor” service protects consumer payment card data from the moment it enters the merchant environment, and replaces card data with a token number that preserves the value of card data for merchant business operations but removes all value for fraudsters. The solution leverages the RSA SafeProxyâ¢ architecture, a powerful combination of encryption, tokenization and key management engineered to provide end-to-end protection.
Ralph J. Andretta has been named Global Affinity Products and International Card executive, Bank of America. With this, he will oversee the bankâs affinity credit card and deposit products portfolio as well as its international credit card businesses. Most recently with American Express as executive VP and GM of Card Member Services, which he initially joined in 1993, Andretta managed the companyâs Membership Rewards program and has had extensive experience in its global operations, including serving as the chief financial officer for the companyâs European business. He began his career as the director of finance for Clarkstown, New York in 1983, after which he joined Ernst & Young in 1986.