Bank Rehab?

Has Bank of America recently gone to bank rehab or is it taking pre-emptive strikes for the April 28 shareholders' meeting?

 
 

Has Bank of America recently gone to bank rehab? Much like celebrities after a particularly nasty episode, the institution withdrew from the spotlight following Brian Moynihan’s replacement of Ken Lewis. However, two recent announcements by the bank indicate that they are back in the game. And the announcements have, frankly, stunned the financial services industry.

Mortgage Modifications to Reduce Outstanding Balances, Rather than Terms
As this Wall Street Journal article details, the balance modifications will be limited to under-water and delinquent Countrywide borrowers that can demonstrate financial hardship. Estimates from Bank of America show that 45,000 customers qualify.

Customers with Insufficient Funds Will See Debit Card Transactions Declined
With changes to Regulation E, the institution has changed its policy on debit card transactions. Customer transaction will be denied at point of sale if sufficient funds are not available. However, customers would be able to withdraw funds from an ATM and incur the standard overdraft fee. They will be notified and signal agreement to the charge at the ATM.

So with these announcements, has Bank of America changed its tune? With its annual shareholder’s conference planned for April 28th, more announcements to solidify the bank’s position within the industry and try to redeem its image among consumers should be expected.