If the financial industry is pulling out of the credit crisis, then Bank of America is leading the charge.
On Monday, the Charlotte, N.C., bank handily beat Wall Street expectations for the second quarter, posted record revenues, and saw a significant decrease in mortgage-related writedowns — an area in which it got pummeled in the first part of the year.
The bank — the country's second-largest by assets — also reaffirmed its controversial purchase of Countrywide Financial, announcing that the mortgage lender would immediately add to the bank's profits.
"We weathered the storm pretty well," chief executive Ken Lewis said in an interview with the Observer, noting how his company has fared better than competitors.
But there were problem spots: Troubled loans and defaults rose in virtually all segments, and credit quality among borrowers continued to deteriorate, especially in commercial real estate and home-equity loans. And much of Monday's good news was tempered by comparisons to a record quarter a year ago, before the credit crisis hit in full swing. Earnings were up over the quarter but down 41 percent from last year's record.
Read the complete story at charlotte.com.