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The $50,000 line of credit used by the Bank of America and Citigroup has been linked to the $4.5 billion dollar buyout of Merrill Lynch, according to new reports.
Bank ofAmerica and Citicle bought out Merrill in November, leaving Merrill with $4 billion in liabilities and $1 billion in assets.
The new report by the watchdog group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) shows that the Merrill buyout “has been widely reported, but there are no reliable sources confirming that.”
The buyout is also reported to have resulted in a $2.6 billion profit for Bank of the West, a subsidiary of Citigroup, which is now owned by Wells Fargo.
“It is a major scandal that the banks and their corporate owners are using these illegal means to acquire the assets of other banks and corporations,” CREW Executive Director Melanie Sloan said in a statement.
The buyouts were revealed in a September 2016 article in the Wall Street Journal by two people who worked for the bank at the time, a person familiar with the matter told the WSJ.
“We were told that they were going to take Merrill out of the bank,” said the source, who requested anonymity to discuss the private negotiations.
The sources told the paper that Merrill had become an example of “a toxic mix of bad corporate governance and financial mismanagement.”
“We think it is very, very significant that the bank is going to get $4 million,” the source told the Journal.
The bank was acquired by Bank of New York Mellon in 2015.
The $4,5 billion acquisition included $3 billion in “net operating losses” from the bank’s investment in the asset management company.
The Wall Street New York reported that the deal for Merrill was “considered the most aggressive corporate takeover in recent history.”
The deal is also the largest deal for the investment bank to be completed in the U.S. “The deal has the potential to significantly boost Bank of Ameritrade’s share price,” the Wall St. New York said.
“BAML has been one of the nation’s biggest issuers of non-performing loans, with over $2 trillion in outstanding loans.
Merrill has been among the nation-leading non-bank lenders, but its assets are a mix of assets such as insurance, commercial real estate and investment banking assets.
This deal will further fuel BAML’s growth and could lead to further synergies between the two firms,” the bank said in September.
“As part of this transaction, Bank of American and Citic have agreed to terminate all their existing non-core banking operations, including BAMN’s core banking unit, Bank Of New York.”
CREW said that the acquisition of Merrill, along with the $1.2 billion Merrill acquisition, was also “the largest non-cash transaction in bank history.”
It said that Merrill’s assets had been “dissolving rapidly.”
“Merrill’s share of the $5 billion was roughly the same as it was at the end of the financial crisis, when its losses nearly doubled and its assets fell more than 70 percent,” the group said in the report.
“Mershen Lynch has struggled to maintain a meaningful revenue stream over the past decade.
Its cash losses have been roughly $2 billion per year, or roughly two-thirds of its assets.”
“This is the biggest acquisition in bank mergers in U.K. history, eclipsing even the $2bn acquisition of BAMl by Wells and Citibank, which was the largest acquisition in U,K.
banking history, before it was purchased by HSBC,” CREG added.