WASHINGTON – House lawmakers on Tuesday said they have subpoenaed the Federal Reserve to hand over e-mails, notes and other documents related to its role in Bank of America Corp.'s acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co.
The lawmakers' subpoena comes after claims that top government officials pressured Bank of America Corp. CEO Ken Lewis to complete the bank's purchase of , threatening his job security. Lewis has testified that he had been advised by the officials, former and , not to disclose details of Merrill Lynch's difficult financial position, according to New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo.
The Fed and former Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have denied pressuring Bank of America to buy Merrill Lynch.
"We expect to respond completely and fully as requested beginning today," a Federal Reserve spokesperson said.
The subpoena by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee comes as Bank of America's Lewis planned to testify on Thursday before the panel.
In prepared remarks, Lewis said his company had considered stopping the deal at one point because of "significant, accelerating losses" at Merrill Lynch. The bank decided to move forward with the deal after the government offered to provide assistance, he said.
"This course made sense for Bank of America and for its shareholders, and made sense for the stability of markets," Lewis said in prepared testimony. "We viewed those two interests as consistent."