NationsBank, BankAmerica Seal Merger

From Associated Press

NationsBank Corp. consummated its merger with BankAmerica Corp. on Wednesday, creating the largest bank in the United States.

The new company, which will trade as BankAmerica on the New York Stock Exchange starting today, will be the country’s first coast-to-coast bank, with branches from California to North Carolina. It will have $572 billion in assets and serve 30 million households and 2 million businesses.

The bank will be headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., where NationsBank is based. It will be headed by NationsBank Chief Executive Hugh McColl, who will serve as chairman and CEO. David Coulter, BankAmerica’s chief executive and chairman, will be president.


“Our people feel very good about this deal,” NationsBank spokesman Bob Stickler said. “We’re bringing together the best franchise in the East with the best one in the West.”

The merger establishes Charlotte once again as one of the country’s leading financial centers. Down the street from the 60-story NationsBank building is the headquarters of First Union Corp., the nation’s sixth-largest bank.

The merger passed its final hurdle Sept. 24 when shareholders from both banks overwhelmingly approved the combination.

In his remarks at a special shareholders’ meeting in Charlotte, McColl said he was excited about the possibilities of adding California and its 35 million residents and the Pacific Northwest to the franchise.

“Filling in this piece of the puzzle will complete our dominance across the high-growth crescents of the southern and western United States,” he said.

Last month, the merger won final regulatory approval from the Federal Reserve Board.

The new bank will move ahead of Chase Manhattan Corp. as the nation’s largest commercial bank.

The bank will operate 4,800 branch offices in 27 states and 38 countries, and more than 14,000 automated teller machines. It will control 8% of the nation’s federally insured deposits, or $1 out of every $12 Americans put in the bank.

The new entity may enjoy its No. 1 ranking only temporarily. An even larger merger between Citicorp and the insurance and securities giant Travelers Group Inc. is pending.

The mergers come at a turbulent time for U.S. bank stocks, battered by problems in overseas markets.

When the NationsBank-BankAmerica merger was announced in April, the lofty prices of bank stocks made the deal worth about $62.5 billion. But because of a subsequent decline in NationsBank shares, the value has dwindled to $37 billion.

In NYSE trading, NationsBank shares fell $2.06 to close at $53.50, and BankAmerica shares lost $2.13 to $60.13.