In 2005, a lawsuit was brought against Merrill Lynch alleging racial discrimination. As the case wound its way through court, Merrill Lynch was eventually sold to Bank of America and became its wealth management arm after the financial collapse of 2008.
With the sale of Merrill Lynch, Bank of America acquired not only the firm’s assets but its baggage too. Now after all these years a settlement has been reached to the sum of $160 million dollars.
“We are working toward a very positive resolution of a lawsuit filed in 2005 and enhancing opportunities for African American financial advisers,” Bank of America spokesman Bill Halldin said, declining to comment further on the status or specifics of the case.
Of course the settlement means that neither Bofa or Merrill Lynch have to really admit guilt but I think that it’s pretty clear what really happened. If you read the rest of the article on Yahoo! News you’ll see that the lead plaintiff had a pretty solid case. If only John Thain had focused on doing the right thing instead of buying extravagant items for his offices.
It’s a shame that Bofa would try to undermine a program of the president’s aimed at preventing homeowners from going into foreclosure and losing their house.
When the Obama administration launched HAMP in 2009, Bank of America was by far the largest mortgage servicer in the program. It had twice as many loans eligible as the next largest bank. The former employees say that, in response to this crush of struggling homeowners, the bank often misled them and denied applications for bogus reasons.
Bank of America is denying this occurred but they really don’t have any credibility.
This is really sad. Is it that they object to people closing their accounts en masse? Maybe people should hit up multiple bank locations then. We’ve already seen this happen with Citibank preventing people from closing their accounts in protest.
As banks seek to impose new fees like Bank of America’s $5 monthly debit card fee, people are thinking of moving their money. With the role that Wall Street played in the economic collapse who would blame people for wanting to rid themselves of these banksters. They take bailouts but do nothing for small businesses or the average everyday consumer. In addition to that these banks continue to give huge payouts to their executives.
Besides leaving consumers infuriated, the debit card fees have also drawn the wrath of the White House, with President Obama warning last week that customers should not be “mistreated” in pursuit of profit, while Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. characterized moves to hit consumers with new charges “incredibly tone deaf.” Senator Richard J. Durbin of Illinois, the No. 2 Senate Democrat, took the unusual step of denouncing Bank of America on the Senate floor, urging customers to “vote with your feet, get the heck out of that bank.”
The Times article says that investors are selling their shares in bank stocks like hotcakes. Why shouldn’t the everyday working man or woman not do the same? It’s time to move your money to credit unions or small community savings banks, if they still exist.
If they’re going to keep these sort of shenanigans going then people will do exactly what those free market fundamentalists would approve of and that is switch banks.
Bank of America’s announcement this week about its new $5 debit card fee was no coincidence. On Saturday, new federal laws go into effect that stopped the bank from charging other fees that were deemed unfair. So in order to keep up their record profits, Bank of America’s solution was to invent a new, unregulated fee to stick on its customers.
I’m with Wells Fargo personally but that doesn’t mean I might not one day look at a credit union or smaller community bank.
This is great.
Bank of America CEO Ken Lewis took a pounding Thursday from the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. One of the most damning exchanges occurred between Lewis and Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio), when Kucinich exposed Lewis' request for government cover from shareholder lawsuits stemming from BofA's troubled merger with Merrill Lynch.
Posted via email from Jason’s posterous
They are ratcheting up shareholder activism when it is needed most. They’ve started this fundraising drive to raise ten thousand dollars so they can go to the upcoming annual shareholder meetings of these corporations and directly challenge them.