Shares of Bank of America Corporation (BAC) declined as much as 1.23% Monday, reaching a session low of $22.40 after reports emerged that the bank had been sued by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
In a lawsuit filed Monday in Washington, the FDIC – a U.S. regulator – says Bank of America owes it at least $542 million for deposit insurance that the bank refuses to pay, dating back to the last three quarters of 2013 and all of 2014, reports Bloomberg. The total sum of money owed exceeds $1 billion when dated to 2011, according to the FDIC, which said it may revise its complaint. (See also: Are Your Bank Deposits Insured?)
The FDIC claims that the Charlotte, N.C.-based bank ignored instructions on how to account for its exposure to counterparties. Bank of America insists that it has regularly updated the FDIC on its calculations and said that the matter should have been resolved through continued discussions rather than litigation.
In a statement, Bank of America – the second biggest U.S. lender – said it complied with FDIC rules. "The amount in question, derived from a technical disagreement about a calculation from several years ago regarding a rule that has had changing provisions over time, comprises a fraction of what we annually pay to the FDIC," the bank said in a statement. The bank added that it now "looks forward to the court's review." (See also: Can Bank of America Sustain Its Latest Rally?)
Brian Kleinhanzi, analyst at Keefe, Bruyette & Woods, isn't worried about the suit or the value amount. "This is likely to get resolved with a payment to the FDIC," he said Monday. But Kleinhanzi, who says that Bank of America is among the best positioned firms to benefit from an expected interest rate hike, says that the issue could affect the bank's book value by as much as 6 cents per share if the final charge is close to $1 billion.
Kleinhanzi has an Outperform rating on Bank of America with a $23 price target. Bank of America shares closed Monday $22.55, down 0.57%. The shares have risen 2.04% year to date, compared with a 1.44% rise in the S&P 500 (SPX) index. (See also: Wells Fargo Names BofA Its Top Pick in Financials.)