BoA to share legal papers

BANK of America’s board of directors has agreed to disclose the legal advice it received over its controversial purchase of Merrill Lynch in January.

The financial giant had previously said that discussions with its attorneys should remain private.

But it changed its mind after New York State threatened to bring criminal charges against individual executives.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), New York State and Congress are all investigating the purchase of Merrill Lynch.

Bank of America has been accused of misleading its shareholders about the extent of Merrill Lynch’s losses and a deal to pay Merrill’s employees billions in bonuses.

The bank last night said it had agreed to waive its attorney-client privilege as it had nothing to hide.

Chief executive Kenneth Lewis is set to resign before the end of the year and the bank has now formed a search party to find a replacement for him.

Bank of America is said to have hired executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to assist in its search for a new chief executive.

A six-person committee is expected to submit its pick by the end of October.