Bank of America (BAC), the nation’s second-largest bank by assets, has told U.S. regulators that it may exit certain markets of the country should its financial problems worsen, the WSJ reported on Friday, citing people familiar with the situation.
Last year, BofA Chief Executive Brian Moynihan submitted a list of possible geographic cutback to the Federal Reserve, the Journal said, citing sources. The list also included a possible sale of a separate class of shares based on performance of Merrill Lynch & Co., the securities firm acquired in 2008 by Bank of America.
People close to the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank told the Journal that no retreat in the form of branch closures is imminent. Yet, even the possibility of selling branches — which the financial giant has achieved through years of strategic acquisitions — and losing customers it spent massive sums to lure underscores the depth of financial difficulties faced by the bank.
Mark Williams, a former Federal Reserve Bank examiner, said recently that Bank of America “is in serious trouble” and that it “is teetering close to bankruptcy.”
Despite shedding over $100 billion in assets between the first quarter of 2009 to the third quarter of 2011, Bank of America continues to be one of the weakest in the industry. Its stock is down nearly 56% on the year closing down more than 2 percent Thursday.