Public Citizen advocacy group calls for break-up of Bank of America

Brian MoynihanAdvocacy group Public Citizen filed a petition on Wednesday urging government agencies to break Bank of America Corp. into smaller, more manageable companies.

The 24 page petition submitted to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke says that the Charlotte-based institution poses "a grave threat" to the financial system, according to the Charlotte Observer.

"Bank of America is too large and complex to manage or regulate properly, and its financial condition is poor and could deteriorate rapidly at any moment, potentially causing the market to lose confidence in the bank," the petition says.

According to Public Citizen, provisions of the Dodd-Frank Act give government regulators the authority necessary to take such a course of action.

Under the Dodd-Frank Act, if the Board of Governors determines that a bank with $50 billion or more in assets is a liability for the economy, the board may supervise and direct that company in its activities and product production.

Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said at a forum in Switzerland on Wednesday that the bank's size is necessary to support various customer bases.

Though the petition provides no input as to how to go about breaking up the bank, Public Citizen hosted a conference call with academics yesterday to discuss measures that can be used to reach their goals, according to the Charlotte Observer.

Public Citizen has previously sponsored a letter to Geithner and Bernanke requesting an investigation of large banks to determine their stability and manageability to preempt a financial crisis.

Comments are closed.