Bank of America Corp.


Last year was the year of the shrink for Bank of America. After a number of missteps and a string of lawsuits, BofA took a step back from the mortgage market, ending its business of making loans through outside brokers. The point was to cut costs, but the timing was terrible. Low interest rates and a rebound in housing prices led to a boom in refinancing in 2012. Rivals cashed in. BofA’s overall revenue, on the other hand, fell by $15 billion.

Investors, however, seemed to like CEO Brian Moynihan’s cost cutting more than they minded the mortgage miss. BofA shares are up 40% in the past year. Moynihan has a new plan to boost revenue, essentially creating a rewards program for customers who do all their banking and borrowing at BofA. It may work, but in mid-April the bank agreed to pay $500 million to Maine and other states, reimbursing them for losses on mortgage bonds -- a reminder that BofA’s legal woes are not over.


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