Bank of America 4Q profits fall by 48 percent due to tax law
NEW YORK – Bank of America said Wednesday that its fourth-quarter profits fell by nearly half from a year ago, as the bank had to book $2.9 billion in charges related to the new tax law. But setting aside those charges, the bank is showing signs that whatever damage was left over from the financial crisis is largely healed.
The consumer banking giant said it earned $2.37 billion, or 20 cents a share, down from $4.54 billion, or 39 cents a share, from the same period a year ago.
Like many banks this quarter, Bank of America had to write down the value its stockpile of deferred tax assets on its balance sheet. The assets are basically credits it could have used to pay future income taxes that built up after the 2008 financial crisis, when banks like BofA had billions of dollars in losses from bad mortgages and other toxic investments. Because the maximum corporate tax rate was reduced from 35 percent to 21 percent under the Republican tax law, Bank of America and other financial companies had to revalue those credits.
The bank also had to write down $946 million in renewable energy investments that were also impacted by the tax law.