Countrywide`s deep retail distribution will strengthen Bank of America`s network of more than 6,100 U.S. banking centers. After the closure, Bank of America plans to operate Countrywide separately under the Countrywide brand, with integration not taking place until 2009 at the earliest. „Before the financial crisis, Merrill Lynch bought more and more mortgages, packaged them together and sold them in securities – even though the bank knew many of those loans were defective,“ said U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman for the New Jersey District. „Non-disclosure of risk is a breach of investor confidence in our financial institutions. Today`s record-breaking agreement to resolve our office`s next multi-billion dollar action against FIRREA sanctions reflects the seriousness of the failures that have caused greater economic losses and damage. The Ministry of Justice and the bank have concluded several of the department`s ongoing civil investigations into the packaging, marketing, sale, agreement, structuring and issuance of RMBS, secured bonds (CDO) and the bank`s practices regarding the financing and origin of mortgages. The transaction contains a statement of facts in which the bank admitted to selling billions of dollars of RMBS without disclosing to investors important facts about the quality of the securitized loans. When the RMBS collapsed, investors, including financial institutions insured by the Confederation, suffered losses of several billion euros. The bank also acknowledged taking out subprime mortgages and provided false information about the quality of these loans to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). On January 11, 2008, Bank of America announced its intention to buy Countrywide Financial for $4.1 billion. On June 6, 2008, Bank of America Corporation announced that it had obtained approval from the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to purchase Countrywide Financial Corporation.
On June 25, 2008, Countrywide announced that it had obtained the approval of 69% of its shareholders for the proposed merger with Bank of America.