The Bank of America Corporation (abbreviated as BofA) is an American multinational investment bank and financial services company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, with central hubs in New York City, London, Hong Kong, Minneapolis, and Toronto. Bank of America was formed through NationsBank's acquisition of BankAmerica in 1998. It is the second-largest banking institution in the United States, after JPMorgan Chase. As a part of the Big Four, it services approximately 10.73% of all American bank deposits, in direct competition with Citigroup, Wells Fargo, and JPMorgan Chase. Its primary financial services revolve around commercial banking, wealth management, and investment banking.
One branch of its history stretches back to the Bank of Italy, founded by Amadeo Pietro Giannini in 1904, which provided Italian immigrants who faced service discrimination various banking options. Originally headquartered in San Francisco, California, Giannini acquired Banca d'America e d'Italia (Bank of America and Italy) in 1922. The passage of landmark federal banking legislation facilitated the rapid growth in the 1950s, quickly establishing a prominent market share. After suffering a significant loss after the 1998 Russian bond default, BankAmerica, as it was then known, was acquired by the Charlotte-based NationsBank for US$62 billion. Following what was then the largest bank acquisition in history, the Bank of America Corporation was founded. Through a series of mergers and acquisitions, it built upon its commercial banking business by establishing Merrill Lynch for wealth management and Bank of America Merrill Lynch for investment banking in 2008 and 2009, respectively. Since both divisions carry the "Merrill Lynch" signage, the former is often referred to as "Merrill Lynch Wealth Management" to differentiate itself from the latter.