BoA gives $1M to Detroit, weighs HQ move

Oct. 2, 2007 at 7:32 PM
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DETROIT, Oct. 2 (UPI) -- Bank of America Corp. gave $1 million to Detroit to support economic development Tuesday and may move its regional headquarters there, published reports said.

Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kenneth Lewis gave a check to Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick for the Next Detroit initiative, which envisions Michigan's largest city repopulated due to "new industry, new investment, new entertainment and new opportunities," the city's Web site said.

Lewis also discussed the possibility of moving the headquarters of its LaSalle Bank Midwest NA to downtown Detroit from Troy, Mich., The Detroit News and Crain's Detroit Business reported.

Bank of America closed on its $21 billion purchase of both LaSalle Bank Midwest and Chicago-based LaSalle Bank NA from the Netherlands' ABN Amro Holding NA.

Kilpatrick pledged to make a concerted effort to get Bank of America to establish a major presence in downtown Detroit, the News reported.

A bank spokesman told Crain's: "Ken has expressed that the Bank of America likes having a relationship with downtown markets. That’s his general view, but it’s premature to take that to mean any decisions have been made."

The Troy headquarters employs about 800. Bank of America said last week it planned to eliminate about 1,500 of 4,000 LaSalle jobs in Michigan over the next two years.

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