Merger of NationsBank and BankAmerica
In 1997, BankAmerica lent D. E. Shaw & Co., a large hedge fund, $1.4 billion in order to run various businesses for the bank. However, D.E. Shaw suffered significant loss after the 1998 Russia bond default. BankAmerica was acquired by NationsBank of Charlotte in October 1998 in what was the largest bank acquisition in history at that time.
While NationsBank was the nominal survivor, the merged bank took the name Bank of America Corporation, with Bank of America NT&SA changing its name to Bank of America, N.A. as the remaining legal bank entity. The combined bank still operates under Federal Charter 13044, which was granted to Giannini’s Bank of Italy on March 1, 1927. However, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings before 1998 are listed under NationsBank, not BankAmerica. Bank of America possessed combined assets of $570 billion, as well as 4,800 branches in 22 states. Despite the mammoth size of the two companies, federal regulators insisted only upon the divestiture of 13 branches in New Mexico, in towns that would be left with only a single bank following the combination.(Branch divestitures are only required if the combined company will have a larger than 25% Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) deposit market share in a particular state or 10% deposit market share overall.) In addition, the combined broker-dealer, created from the integration of BancAmerica Robertson Stephens and NationsBanc Montgomery Securities, was renamed Banc of America Securities in 1998.
2001 to present 
In 2004, Bank of America announced it would purchase Boston-based bank FleetBoston Financial for $47 billion in cash and stock. By merging with Bank of America, all of its banks and branches were given the Bank of America logo. At the time of merger, FleetBoston was the seventh largest bank in United States with $197 billion in assets, over 20 million customers and revenue of $12 billion. Hundreds of FleetBoston workers lost their jobs or were demoted, according to the Boston Globe.
On June 30, 2005, Bank of America announced it would purchase credit card giant MBNAfor $35 billion in cash and stock. The Federal Reserve Board gave final approval to the merger on December 15, 2005, and the merger closed on January 1, 2006. The acquisition of MBNA provided Bank of America a leading domestic and foreign credit card issuer. The combined Bank of America Card Services organization, including the former MBNA, had more than 40 million U.S. accounts and nearly $140 billion in outstanding balances. Under Bank of America the operation was renamed FIA Card Services.
In May 2006, Bank of America and Banco Itaú (Investimentos Itaú S.A.) entered into an acquisition agreement through which Itaú agreed to acquire BankBoston’s operations in Brazil and was granted an exclusive right to purchase Bank of America’s operations inChile and Uruguay. The deal was signed in August 2006 under which Itaú agreed to purchase Bank of America’s operations in Chile and Uruguay. Prior to the transaction, BankBoston’s Brazilian operations included asset management, private banking, a credit card portfolio, and small, middle-market, and large corporate segments. It had 66 branches and 203,000 clients in Brazil. BankBoston in Chile had 44 branches and 58,000 clients and in Uruguay it had 15 branches. In addition, there was a credit card company, OCA, in Uruguay, which had 23 branches. BankBoston N.A. in Uruguay, together with OCA, jointly served 372,000 clients. While the BankBoston name and trademarks were not part of the transaction, as part of the sale agreement, they cannot be used by Bank of America in Brazil, Chile or Uruguay following the transactions. Hence, the BankBoston name has disappeared from Brazil, Chile and Uruguay. The Itaú stock received by Bank of America in the transactions has allowed Bank of America’s stake in Itaú to reach 11.51%. Banco de Boston de Brazil had been founded in 1947.
On November 20, 2006, Bank of America announced the purchase of The United States Trust Company for $3.3 billion, from theCharles Schwab Corporation. US Trust had about $100 billion of assets under management and over 150 years of experience. The deal closed July 1, 2007.
On September 14, 2007, Bank of America won approval from the Federal Reserve to acquire LaSalle Bank Corporation from Netherlands’s ABN AMRO for $21 billion. With this purchase, Bank of America possessed $1.7 trillion in assets. A Dutch court blocked the sale until it was later approved in July. The acquisition was completed on October 1, 2007. Many of LaSalle’s branches and offices had already taken over smaller regional banks within the previous decade, such as Lansing and Detroit based Michigan National Bank.
The deal increased Bank of America’s presence in Illinois, Michigan, and Indiana by 411 branches, 17,000 commercial bank clients, 1.4 million retail customers, and 1,500 ATMs. Bank of America became the largest bank in the Chicago market with 197 offices and 14% of the deposit share, surpassing JPMorgan Chase.
Ken Lewis, who had lost the title of Chairman of the Board, announced that he would retire as CEO effective December 31, 2009, in part due to controversy and legal investigations concerning the purchase of Merrill Lynch. Brian Moynihan became President and CEO effective January 1, 2010, and afterward credit card charge offs and delinquencies declined in January. Bank of America also repaid the $45 billion it had received from the Troubled Assets Relief Program