NEW YORK: Bank of America Corp (BofA) amassed $1.2 billion in expenses for litigation and regulatory investigations last year including fines and settlements, according to a company filing on Wednesday.
The cost is a major jump from $164 million recorded by the second-largest U.S. lender in 2021 and $823 million in 2020, and excludes payments for internal and external lawyers.
The company dealt with several major issues in 2022, setting aside $354 million as part of a settlement to pay bond insurer Ambac Financial Group (AMBC.N) for a major lawsuit that stemmed from the 2008 mortgage crisis.
BofA also paid $225 million in penalties to U.S. financial regulators last year over employees' use of unauthorized messaging platforms including WhatsApp.
A pair of banking regulators also fined the bank $225 million over what they called a "botched" handling of jobless benefits during the pandemic.
While those three cases led to just over $800 million in combined expenses last year, BofA did not specify what accounted for the remaining $400 million. A company spokesperson declined to comment.
Some other U.S. banks also received hefty penalties in 2022.
In December, the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau hit Wells Fargo & Co with the watchdog's largest ever civil penalty as part of a $3.7 billion agreement to settle charges over widespread mismanagement of car loans, mortgages and bank accounts. (Reporting by Lananh Nguyen; Editing by Jamie Freed)