BoA gets green signal from Fed for Merrill Lynch acquisition

BoA gets green signal from Fed for Merrill Lynch acquisition

Washington: The Federal Reserve has given formal approval to Bank of America for acquiring the troubled financial services firm Merrill Lynch.

Federal Reserve said in a statement that it has given its approval to the Bank of America for the acquisition of Merrill Lynch’s savings association and industrial loan company.

On completion of the acquisition, Bank of America would be the largest depository organisation in the US, with total consolidated assets of about $2.7 trillion.

The bank would control deposits of about $852 billion, which represents 11.9% of the total deposits of insured depository institutions in America.

Before the acquisition, Bank of America had a total consolidated assets of $1.8 trillion, and controlled deposits of around $774.2 billion, which represents 10.8% of the total amount of deposits.

Further, in a statement BoA said it aims to close the transaction by the end of the year subject to shareholder and other regulatory approvals.

“Combining the leading global wealth management, capital markets and advisory firm with largest consumer and corporate bank in the US creates the world’s premier financial services company with unrivalled breadth and global reach," Bank of America Chairman and CEO Kenneth D Lewis said.

The deal had been announced in September, when financial giant Lehman Brothers had filed for bankruptcy, while insurance major AIG had been given a bailout by the government.

On 15 September, when the acquisition was announced, the Merrill Lynch shares had been valued at $29 each, or about $50 billion.