As a member of the Big Four banking institutions in the United States, the Bank of America is one of the world’s most popular bank stock options. Through its various services, the institution has been one of the biggest over the years. However, its journey to the top and remaining there hasn’t been easy; it has faced and defeated lawsuits, bankruptcy, and uncertain futures. Here are some interesting Bank of America facts you can bank on.
1. It Offers More Than Financial Banking Services
The Bank of America Corp. offers both banking and nonbank financial services as a bank and a financial holding company. Its major segments include Global Wealth and Investment Management, Consumer Banking, Global Banking, Global Markets, and All Other.
2. Bank of America’s Headquarters Are in North Carolina
Abbreviated BofA or BoA, the Bank of America has its headquarters in Charlotte, North Carolina, formally known as the America Corporate Center. The building is a 265-meter (871 ft.) skyscraper designed by Cesar Pelli (an Argentine-American architect) and HKS Architects. The Bank of America also has auxiliary headquarters in Manhattan.
3. The Bank of America Stopped Financing Military-style Gun Manufacturers
Following the ever-rising cases of mass shootings, the Bank of America decided to stop funding manufacturers of military-grade weapons such as the AR-15 rifle in 2018. The institution wanted to contribute whichever way it could to stop the attacks.
4. A High School Student Once Crashed a Cessna into the Bank of America Tower
On January 5, 2002, several months after the 9/11 attacks, a high-school student took off with a Cessna 172 aircraft and intentionally crashed it into the Bank of America tower in Tampa, Florida. Nobody died from the crash other than the student himself.
5. It Is Among the Largest Banking Institutions in the United States
The Bank of America is the second-largest banking institution in the United States, only behind JPMorgan Chase. That, coupled with being the second-largest market capitalization bank in the world, cements its status as one of the United States’ Big Four banking institutions. The others include JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Citigroup.
6. The Bank of America Once Refused to Cash a Customer’s Check Because of a Thumbprint
In an incident that occurred in 2009, a man had difficulties banking his check at Tampa, Florida’s Bank of America branch. The customer was born without arms and used prosthetic ones, but the bank demanded his thumbprint, anyway. He was later issued an apology.
7. It Was Initially the Bank of Italy
The Current Bank of America was initially the Bank of Italy. Founded by Amadeo Pietro Giannini, an Italian-American banker, in 1903, the bank was stationed in San Francisco (still is today). In 1922, a bank named “Bank of America” was formed in Los Angeles, with Giannini as a minority shareholder. The two banks (the San Francisco-based Bank of Italy and Los Angeles-based Bank of America) merged in 1928, consolidating their services. In 1930, the merged banks took the name Bank of America.
8. The Bank of America Made Huge Losses in 1986 and 1987
In 1986 and 1987, the Bank of America made terrible losses because it placed bad loans in Third World countries. This led to the firing of the institution’s CEO, Sam Armacost; A.W (Tom) and Clausen replaced him.
9. It Has Been Subject to Numerous Lawsuits
Since its founding, the Bank of America has been subject to several lawsuits, some of which have resulted in settlements worth millions. For instance, in 2010, the United States government levelled charges against the bank, accusing it of defrauding hospitals, schools, and some state-owned organizations. The Bank of America agreed to pay a settlement fee of $127.7 million, which included $25 million to the IRS and $4.5 million to the state attorney general, to compensate the affected parties.
10. The Bank of America Launched Visa Using an Interesting Method
The Bank of America first launched the Visa program in 1958. However, nobody knew how the new technology would be received, so the institution’s officials took a conservative path. In an experiment, the bank sent 60,000 Visa cards to the residents of Fresno, California. BoA figured that if it failed, the media would not know about it, reducing the chances of an uproar. Fortunately, the experiment was successful.
11. The Bank of America Downsized at One Point
Following the numerous lawsuit settlements that the Bank of America made, its Forbes rankings were steeply declining, prompting the management to downsize in the period between 2011 and 2014. The institution’s goal was to reduce personnel by about 36,000 people across all its branches, saving about $5 billion annually. By the end of 2012, the bank had laid off 16,000 people, but revenue continued to decline.
12. A Bank of America’s Customer Was Arrested for “Depositing” His Urine in a Safety Deposit
Byren Stuckey was a Bank of America customer arrested for a rather bizarre reason. After the bank froze his account, leaving him without any money, the angry man deposited a bag containing his pee and fish bait into one of the institution’s Safety Deposit Boxes. The contents rotted, causing a foul smell; Stuckey was arrested and charged with grand larceny.