Protests planned at BofA meeting

Posted April 27, 2010 8:54 a.m. EDT
Updated April 27, 2010 9:50 a.m. EDT

— Religious and union leaders plan a protest Wednesday at the annual meeting of Bank of America shareholders.

“We are going to Bank of America to issue our own annual report to shareholders on Bank of America activities – the good, the bad and the ugly,” said Mike Broadway, leader of NC United Power, an affiliation of 24 religious groups.

NC United Power has spoken out about bank lending practices they believe are unfair. The group will be joined at the protest by members of the NAACP, the Community Reinvestment Association of North Carolina and leading labor and service unions.

Interested parties are invited to gather at 8:30 a.m. Wednesday at First United Presbyterian Church, 406 N. College St. in Charlotte, for a march to the shareholder meeting at the B of A Corporate Center, 100 N. Tryon South.

Angry shareholders took the first step toward the ouster of CEO Ken Lewis at last year's meeting, blaming him for the expensive acquisition of Merrill Lynch and the decline in stock prices through the first quarter of 2009.

In December, the bank tapped Brian Moynihan to be the new leader. Since that time, the bank has slowly reduced its exposure to bad loans.

During a conference call with analysts to discuss first-quarter earnings, that the bank expects modest economic growth through the rest of the year.

Still, home mortgages remain a trouble spot for Bank of America, the nation's largest mortgage servicer. Although its set aside less money for overall loan losses, it increased the amount set aside for home mortgage losses, to $3.6 billion, as its mortgage losses widened. Net revenue in the unit fell 31 percent, as the bank saw lower mortgage production volume and a drop-off in refinance activity.

"Our work in progress remains mortgage," Moynihan said.