Bank of America Turns Profitable for Now

By: Roger A Lee

Bank of America has reported a $2bn profit for the three months to the end of 2011, compared with a $1.2bn loss in the same period in 2010. That is a significant turnaround, but is the profit real or just on paper.

It signals continued recovery for the US' second biggest lender. (Used to be first)

Meanwhile Morgan Stanley, the world's largest broker, reported a fourth-quarter loss of $250m compared with a profit of $836m a year earlier.

Despite the loss, the results at Morgan Stanley beat analysts' expectations since it was able to increase its share of the equity trading market in the period.

For the full year, Morgan Stanley said its net revenues were $32.4bn compared with $31.4bn in 2010.

Current results from American banks have been mixed with Goldman Sachs announcing recently that it made 47% less in profits than in 2010 while Citigroup posted a 6% rise on the previous year.

Bank of America chief executive Brian Moynihan said: "We enter 2012 stronger and more efficient after two years of simplifying and streamlining our company."

"Reflecting a gradually improving economy," continued Mr. Moynihan, "we saw solid business activity by companies of all sizes, with commercial and industrial loan balances rising."

Bank of America was one of the worst performers on Dow Jones Industrial Average index of leading companies in 2011, losing 58% of its share value over the year.

The lender has been hit by lingering concerns about bad mortgage loans on its books in the wake of the 2008 sub-prime crisis when it was bailed out by the US government. (It's purchase of Countrywide mortgage).

The question is now that Bank of America is in the black, how they will bring back their customer and rebuilt their brand loyalty, after years of negative press and public image disasters.

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Barry Norman is a contributor to and blogger at For over ten years has provided consumers free information helping them make sense of credit cards and the financial industry. Whether you are a longtime cardholder or looking for Bank of America credit card reviews, can help you make informed credit decisions.

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