Bank of America pays back treasury


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The government launched the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program last fall at the peak of the credit crisis, providing hundreds of banks with capital to shore up their balance sheets, and in an attempt to thaw frozen credit markets.

Charlotte, N.C.-based Bank of America received $25 billion as part of the initial round of investments last fall. It then received an additional $20 billion in January shortly after it acquired Merrill Lynch & Co. in a heavily scrutinized deal.

In return for providing the money, the government received preferred stock in the banks and receives quarterly dividends.

The bank will pay the $713 million in dividends on Nov. 16.

Bank of America has already paid the government $1.83 billion in TARP dividends through the end of September.

Separately, the bank authorized dividend payments on 14 other classes of preferred stock. It also approved dividends on two classes on preferred stock issued by Merrill Lynch.

On Wednesday, the bank announced CEO Ken Lewis is planning to retire at the end of the year. Lewis has faced criticism for the handling of the purchase of New York-based investment bank Merrill Lynch. No replacement has yet been named for Lewis.

Shares of Bank of America fell 38 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $15.82 in morning trading Friday as the broader market gave ground.

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