Bank of America

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Bank of America


(full name, Bank of America National Trust and Savings Association), a major banking monopoly of the United States and the entire capitalist world.

Founded by the Italian A. Giannini in 1904 in San Francisco under the name Bank of Italy, the Bank of America gained its present name in 1930 after merging with the Bank of America of California. It has absorbed a number of large and small banks and penetrated deeply into industry and agriculture. The Bank of America is half commercial and half savings and mortgage. It participates actively in placing foreign loans offered by American banking syndicates, by the United States’ Export-Import Bank, and by the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD). At the beginning of 1969 the bank had 948 branches in California, 86 branches and ten representatives abroad, 48 military branches in California and abroad, the large subsidiary Banca d’America e d’Italia with 85 branches in Italy, a subsidiary bank in New York, and participation in 50 credit institutions in 39 nations. The Bank of America secretly controls the largest American bank holding company, Western Bancorporation, which owns the controlling block of shares in 24 banks with 591 branches in 11 western states with deposits of $8.3 billion. The Bank of America has actual control over the Transamerica Corporation, which has assets of $3.3 billion. This corporation owns insurance companies, companies financing installment buying of goods with 600 branches in the United States and Canada, mortgage companies, and industrial enterprises. The Bank of America is closely related to such companies as the Kaiser Corporation (motor vehicles, steel casting, and aluminum plants), the Getty Oil Company (oil magnate), the Douglas Aircraft Company, the Hearst newspaper trust, and the California Land Company, which with 240,000 hectares of citrus orchards and other holdings is the largest agricultural joint-stock society in the capitalist world. The stock capital of the Bank of America at the beginning of 1969 was $214 million, with reserves of $883 million. The total balance is $24.2 billion, the balance of deposits has risen from $5.4 billion at the beginning of 1947 to $21.5 billion at the beginning of 1969; discounting and loans were $13.4 billion; and investments were $4.9 billion, including $2.5 billion in federal bonds, $1.9 billion in local bonds, and $500 million in other securities.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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