As of October 1, 2013, Merrill Lynch & Co., Inc. was acquired by Bank of America Corporation. Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides investment, financing, and other related services to individuals and institutions in the United States and internationally. The company conducts selling and trading activities, and acts as a market maker in securities, derivatives, currencies, and other financial instruments; distributes fixed income, currency, commodity and equity products, and derivatives; and provides financing, securities clearing, settlement, and custody services, as well as engages in principal investing activities. It also assists clients in raising capital through ...
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Founded in 1914
Bank of America Merrill Lynch Announces Board Changes
Nov 27 15
Bank of America Merrill Lynch appointed interim co-heads to its loan capital markets business in Europe, Middle East and Africa. The appointments were made by the bank following the decision of divisional head, Shaun Dreyer, to leave the bank before the end of 2015. The bank has named Charles Wickham and David Pepper, managing directors in the loan capital markets team, to the roles. Dreyer is expected to leave before the end of the year.
Cobb County, DeKalb County, and Fulton County, Georgia File Federal Fair Housing Act Lawsuit against Bank of America Corp., Bank of America, N.A., Countrywide Financial Corp., Countywide Bank, FSB, and Merrill Lynch & Co. for Discriminatory Mortgage Lending, Servicing and Foreclosure Practices Civil Action No. 15-CV-04081
Nov 23 15
Cobb County, DeKalb County, and Fulton County, Georgia, filed a lawsuit against Bank of America Corporation, Bank of America, N.A., Countrywide Financial Corporation, Countywide Bank, FSB, and Merrill Lynch & Co seeking damages and injunctive relief for violations of the federal Fair Housing Act ("FHA"). The lawsuit alleges that the defendants violated the FHA by engaging in a discriminatory housing practice known as "equity stripping." The lawsuit was filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Civil Action No. 15-CV-04081. The complaint alleges two key, interrelated, components to the scheme: a predatory and discriminatory mortgage loan-making component and a loan servicing/foreclosure component. According to the complaint, beginning in the early to mid-2000s these institutions targeted African American and Latino borrowers for, or steered them into, higher cost, non-prime mortgage loans. At the time, the banks knew that many of the loans were likely to fail or were not in the borrowers' best interests. They either originated such loans directly or assisted other brokers and affiliates – including Accredited Home Lenders, AmeriQuest Mortgage Company, First Franklin Financial Corp., New Century Mortgage Corp., Option One Mortgage Corp., and Ownit Mortgage Solutions -- to originate them. The loans were intended to generate higher profits and mortgage servicing income for the banks, including through higher loan interest rates, increased mortgage servicing charges over the life of the loan, loan pre-payment penalties, expensive added fees, and increased default interest rates and fees charged to late-paying or defaulting borrowers. Defendants' equity stripping practices, which continue to this very day, occur throughout the life of each predatory and discriminatory mortgage loan following origination of the loan – that is, during servicing each time the borrower makes a high cost loan payment, upon default when fees are charged and interest rates increase, and ultimately upon foreclosure on a borrower's home. These practices, which result in increased numbers of home vacancies and foreclosures, harm the Counties themselves through increased costs for additional County services, forced reallocations of limited County resources, losses in County revenue, including property taxes, losses in the value of the tax base, and due to other economic and non-economic injuries arising from blight and property vacancies. Many of these harms are concentrated in minority communities. Bank of America's continued servicing of such mortgage loans, failure to modify them, and default servicing and foreclosure practices, perpetuate this scheme. Bank of America, Countrywide and Merrill Lynch are responsible for at least 59,000 potentially predatory, discriminatory, mortgage loans in these three Counties alone. Between 2006 and 2014 defendants initiated over 11,600 foreclosure filings in predominately minority neighborhoods in the Counties. This represents a disproportionately large number of the total 19,800 foreclosures that they initiated in the Counties over the same period. The Counties are represented by Harris Penn Lowry LLP.
Merrill Lynch Faces Class Action for Role in Zale Buyout
Oct 1 15
Merrill Lynch must defend its role in the USD 690 million sale of the Zale Corp. jewelry chain after a judge refused on October 1, 2015 to dismiss a shareholder class action that alleged the deal short-changed investors. The preliminary ruling by the Delaware Court of Chancery, a premiere venue for shareholder lawsuits, found Merrill Lynch could have aided the Zale board breach their duties to investors. It is the latest ruling by the court that potentially exposes a Wall Street bank to damages in a merger deal. Zale agreed in 2014 to be acquired by rival Signet Jewelers for USD 21 per share, or USD 690 million. TIG Advisors, which held nearly 10% of Zale stock, called the deal grossly unfair and shareholders only narrowly approved the sale. Soon after the deal was announced, shareholders filed a class action challenging the deal price and named as defendants Zale's board, Signet and Merrill, a unit of Bank of America. The ruling by Vice Chancellor Donald Parsons dismissed the Zale board and Signet as defendants. However, Parsons found Merrill could be liable to shareholders because it failed to disclose potential conflicts. Merrill Lynch never told Zale's board that a month before it was hired by the board the bank made a presentation to Signet's chief financial officer about acquiring Zales for USD 17 to USD 21 a share. Like Merrill with Zale, RBC was alleged to have aided the Rural/Metro board breach its duty to shareholders. The Delaware Supreme Court heard oral arguments this week by RBC seeking to overturn that ruling, which has prompted many shareholders to expand their class actions beyond board members to include deep-pocketed investment banks as defendants.