Bank of America will report its fourth-quarter earnings this Thursday. Investors and federal regulators will be looking for signs as to how the nation's second-largest bank is weathering its financial struggles. During the height of the recession, B of A received significant government bailouts, yet emerged as one of the weaker institutions in its aftermath.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Bank of America executives went as far as telling Federal Reserve officials that it could shed branches in some parts of the country if it needed to raise capital in an emergency. The bank has been under pressure to raise capital to absorb its mortgage-related losses.
B of A, which had 5,715 branches at the end of September 2011, has already said it plans to shutter approximately 750 locations during the next few years as part of a broad cost-cutting initiative. Comparatively, Wells Fargo has about 6,300 branches while JPMorgan Chase has approximately 5,500.