Three House members from California are urging federal regulators to hold a hearing on whether the new BankAmerica Corp. is adequately serving California.
The departure of former BankAmerica chairman David A. Coulter and the loss of 11 of 13 top executives in California raises questions about the commitment of the Charlotte, N.C.-based banking company to California, wrote Democratic Reps. Lucille Roybal-Allard, Nancy Pelosi, and Barbara Lee.
They urged the Federal Reserve Board and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency to require the bank to issue quarterly reports for five years comparing community reinvestment activities in North Carolina and California. Also, BankAmerica chairman Hugh L. McColl Jr. should be "invited, if not required" to appear at the hearing, they wrote.
Catherine P. Bessant, president of community development banking, said BankAmerica is firmly committed to California. Its operations there are run by two executives from the old BankAmerica and it has committed to a massive reinvestment program for the state. But she rejected calls for a hearing, saying the public should give the bank time to develop a track record.
"We are serious about demonstrating our commitment to the state," she said. "If people will give us a chance to perform, we will win their confidence."-Jaret Seiberg