Congressman Dennis Kucinich on Monday asked the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to determine if Bank of America Corp
In a letter to SEC Chairwoman Mary Schapiro, Kucinich said there were significant questions surrounding Bank of America's failure to disclose bonus details before shareholders voted on the bank's acquisition of Merrill last December 5.
He asked the SEC to decide whether the bank's actions constituted a material omission, and whether it might order the bank, prior to its April 29 annual meeting, to provide to shareholders the agreement containing bonus details.
There is no question that any reasonable Bank of America shareholder would have considered the Merrill bonuses to be material to their decision on whether to approve the merger, Kucinich, a Democrat who chairs the House Domestic Policy Subcommittee, wrote. It is the SEC's responsibility to investigate and prosecute such abuses.
A Bank of America spokesman, contacted by Reuters, referred to the bank's March 29 response to an inquiry from Kucinich. It said it disclosed everything that was required prior to the shareholder vote, and it was not required to disclose details it then knew about the size and timing of Merrill's bonuses.
SEC spokesman John Heine did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Bank of America's annual meeting will be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, where the bank is based.
(Reporting by Jonathan Stempel; editing by John Wallace)