Bank of America chief Ken Lewis to resign

Bank of America (BAC) president and chief executive Ken Lewis will resign by the end of the year, the Charlotte, N.C., banking giant announced after stock markets closed Wednesday.

Lewis, whose company is under investigation by regulators, was not asked to resign from his posts and the decision was not related to the scrutiny the company has received regarding its hasty purchase last year of Merrill Lynch, CNBC reported. In addition to Congress and the Securities and Exchange Commission, BofA has also come under the scrutiny of Andrew Cuomo, New York state's attorney general.
Lewis has been accused of of misleading investors about bonuses paid to Merrill Lynch officials prior to BofA's purchase of the floundering investment bank late last year.

Lewis, 62, notified the company's board of directors of his decision Wednesday. He will also surrender his position on the company's board of directors. Lewis was stripped of his chairman title in April after a shareholder vote. Lewis' successor has not been named but the company said it expects to do so by the time he departs.

In a written statement, Lewis said the company was prepared to meet its ongoing challenges presented by the economy and markets absent his leadership. Further, he said, "We are in position to begin to repay the federal government's TARP investments," adding for those reasons the time was right for his departure.

Bank of America received $45 billion as part of the Troubled Asset Relief Program, the government funded plan put in place to keep the nation's banks from falling into insolvency.

In July, BofA reported second-quarter income fell 5.5 percent on charges related to its acquisitions and on continuing credit problems. The results, nonetheless, were better than analysts had expected.

In after hours trading, BofA shares rose nearly two percent to $17.24. The stock has lost half its value in the past year.
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