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Bank of America Error Raises Internal Control Questions

Tammy Whitehouse | April 30, 2014

A $4 billion error in calculating available capital at Bank of America may not have nicked the company's financial statements, but it raises questions about internal controls.

Bank of America announced this week it discovered a mistake in its previously disclosed regulatory capital amounts and ratios because of an incorrect adjustment related to certain structured notes that were assumed in the acquisition of Merrill Lynch in 2009. The company says there's no need to adjust financial statements as a result of the error, but it notified the Federal Reserve of the reduction in capital and called off a planned dividend increase and $4 billion stock repurchase.

In a statement, Bank of America says the capital error resulted from a mistake in the application of the fair value option in valuing the Merrill Lynch notes. Under...

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