Just as JP Morgan, Bank of America takes accounting manipulation to the next degree and lowers its credit loss provision to $3.8 billion, down $6.0 billion from a year earlier, and $2.3 billion from Q4, even though the actual amount of charge offs sequentially barely declined from $6.7 billion to $6.0 billion. "The provision for credit losses was $3.8 billion, which was $6.0 billion
lower than the same period a year earlier. The provision was lower than
net charge-offs, resulting in a $2.2 billion reduction in the allowance
for loan and lease losses, including the reserve for unfunded
commitments, in the first quarter of 2011 (net of reserve additions of
$1.6 billion related to consumer-purchased credit-impaired portfolios as
noted below). This compares with a $1.0 billion reduction in the first
quarter of 2010." Even so, the company still was unable to goal seek its EPS consensus of $0.26, coming in at $0.17. Without this accounting gimmick, BAC would have had a sizable loss in Q1.
In other news, Bank of America Corporation announced that the company, including its legacy Countrywide Financial Corporation affiliates, has reached an agreement with Assured Guaranty Ltd. and its subsidiaries to resolve all of the monoline insurer’s outstanding and potential repurchase claims related to alleged representations and warranties breaches involving 29 first- and second-lien residential mortgage-backed securitization (RMBS) trusts where Assured provided financial guarantee insurance. The agreement also resolves historical loan servicing issues and other potential liabilities with respect to these trusts. Great: that only means the company has about a trillion in monoline mortgage exposure that is still on the hook for lawsuits.
Selected highlights from the press release:
First-Quarter 2011 Financial Highlights
U.S. credit card performance metrics continued to improve in the first
quarter, with 30+ day delinquency rates near all-time lows, net losses
declining for the sixth straight quarter, and customer payment rates
improving for the seventh straight quarter.
Average deposit balances were above $1 trillion, gaining 4 percent
from the year-ago period and 2 percent from the fourth quarter of 2010.
Tangible book value1 per share rose to $13.21 in the first
quarter of 2011, up from $12.98 at the end of 2010 and $11.70 in the
first quarter of 2010.
The company continued to strengthen the balance sheet with
risk-weighted assets declining $23 billion and global excess liquidity
increasing $50 billion from the end of 2010 to $386 billion at March
Regulatory capital ratios remained strong with the Tier 1 common ratio
at 8.64 percent at March 31, 2011, compared to 8.60 percent at
December 31, 2010, and 7.60 percent at March 31, 2010. The increase
from the fourth quarter of 2010 was largely due to higher retained
earnings and a reduction in risk-weighted assets, partially offset by
an increase in the company’s disallowed deferred tax asset (27 basis
points of Tier 1 common). The tangible common equity ratio1
rose to 6.10 percent at March 31, 2011 from 5.99 percent at December
31, 2010 and 5.22 percent at March 31, 2010.
The provision for credit losses declined 61 percent from the year-ago
quarter as net charge-offs fell for the fourth consecutive quarter,
reflecting improved credit quality across most consumer and commercial
The allowance for loan and lease losses to annualized net charge-off
coverage ratio improved in the first quarter of 2011 to 1.63 times,
compared with 1.56 times in the fourth quarter of 2010 and 1.07 times
in the first quarter of 2010.
1 Tangible book value per share of common stock and the
tangible common equity ratio are non-GAAP measures. Other companies may
define or calculate this measure differently. For reconciliation to GAAP
measures, refer to page 21 of this press release.
First-Quarter Business Highlights
The Deposits segment returned to profitability in the first quarter of
2011. Average deposit balances grew $5 billion, or 1 percent, from the
fourth quarter of 2010, and the number of net new accounts rose as the
business continued to focus on quality sales and retention of customer
Global Commercial Banking saw loan growth of 2 percent in its core
middle-market segment, compared to the fourth quarter of 2010, and
continued to support small and medium-sized businesses. Combined with
the large corporate group, the company made $69 billion in
non-commercial real estate loans and $7 billion in commercial real
estate loans including renewals in the first quarter of 2011.
Bank of America continued to support the economic recovery by
extending approximately $144 billion in credit in the first quarter of
2011, according to preliminary data. In addition to the numbers
reported above, credit extensions included $57 billion in first
mortgages, $4 billion in U.S. consumer and small business card, $2
billion in home equity products and $5 billion in other consumer
Global Wealth and Investment Management (GWIM) reported one of its
strongest quarters since the acquisition of Merrill Lynch, setting
records for revenue, asset management fees and brokerage income. In
addition, the business more than doubled long-term asset management
flows and added 184 financial advisors since the end of 2010 through a
combination of new hires and high advisor retention rates.
Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) ranked No. 2 in both
global and U.S. investment banking fees for the first quarter of 2011
with a market share of 7.9 percent and 12.3 percent, respectively,
according to Dealogic. The global market share improved by 1.6
percentage points from the fourth quarter of 2010 and was the largest
increase among the top 15 banks, according to Dealogic.
BAML gained market share in global and U.S. fee pools compared to the
fourth quarter of 2010 and ranked in the top three globally in
Leveraged Loans, Asset and Mortgage-Backed Securities, Investment
Grade Corporate Debt, Syndicated Loans, High-Yield Corporate Debt and
Common Stock Underwriting.
The $57 billion in first mortgages funded in the first quarter helped
nearly 260,000 homeowners either purchase a home or refinance an
existing mortgage. This included approximately 12,000 first-time
homebuyer credit-qualified mortgages originated by our retail channels
and more than 86,000 mortgages to low- and moderate-income borrowers.
Approximately 31 percent of funded first mortgages were for home
purchases and 69 percent were refinances.
Since the start of 2008, Bank of America and previously Countrywide
have completed 840,000 loan modifications with customers. During the
first quarter, more than 64,000 loan modifications were completed, a
17 percent decrease from the total modifications in the first quarter
Full earnings presentation: