Bank of America Corporation today completed its merger with FleetBoston Financial Corporation, bringing unrivaled convenience and advantage to more than 35 million households and businesses across the country.
"The two companies that came together today share hundreds of years of tradition in providing the capital resources that drive economic growth in America," said Kenneth D. Lewis, chief executive officer of Bank of America. "We share a commitment to helping American families and businesses pursue and achieve their dreams and to supporting the communities in which we do business. Our company will continue to embrace these traditions and take them to a higher standard for all whom we serve."
"This transaction closes an era but begins a new one," said Charles K. Gifford, chairman of Bank of America. "It allows the strength and heritage of the Fleet franchise to become part of a dynamic national financial services company while continuing its historic commitment to the northeast region. It will be increasingly clear that this is a win-win for employees, customers, communities and shareholders."
In a tax-free, stock-for-stock exchange, Fleet shareholders received 0.5553 of a Bank of America common share for each Fleet share they own. Fleet shareholders will be contacted with instructions on how to exchange their shares for Bank of America stock. There is no action required by Bank of America shareholders.
Beginning today, the combined company's shares continued to be listed on the New York, Pacific and London stock exchanges as Bank of America Corporation under the ticker symbol BAC. Certain shares are also listed on the Tokyo Stock Exchange.
Starting today, customers of both Bank of America and Fleet can use nearly 16,500 ATMs across the country to make cash withdrawals without incurring ATM fees. For example, a Bank of America customer can now withdraw cash from a Fleet ATM in New York City without incurring fees and a Fleet customer can now do the same in Dallas at a Bank of America ATM.
At this point, Fleet customers should continue to bank as usual by phone, ATM, online or at the branch. In addition, Fleet customers should continue to use their Fleet credit, debit and ATM cards. Customers will be notified well in advance of any changes.
Signs will begin to change to the Bank of America brand during the third quarter. The changeover will be complete by the first quarter of 2005.
Both companies have an outstanding history of community investment. To continue this tradition, Bank of America announced a new $750 billion community development commitment in January. The new goal builds on the outstanding track records of Bank of America and Fleet in delivering capital and credit to low- and moderate-income individuals, families and communities. The company additionally pledged that more than $100 billion of this new goal will be achieved through lending and investments in Fleet markets.