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Business Briefing / Banking

BofA says it did disclose bonuses

September 26, 2009|Times Wire Services

Bank of America Corp. said today that it had publicly disclosed its intent to pay bonuses to Merrill Lynch employees right before it bought the investment bank, pressing a key point in its defense against charges from the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Charlotte, N.C., bank said in a court filing Friday that it had made the disclosure in the deal documents by saying that Merrill was "continuing to accrue compensation and benefits expenses in 2008 at a rate similar to 2007."

Bank of America said it had disclosed that information in a proxy statement, the merger agreement and elsewhere. It added as proof of the disclosure that many media outlets had reported that Merrill was expected to pay bonuses worth billions of dollars for 2008.

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