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REGIONALREPORT Charlotte

“Get the heck out of that bank.”

— Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin’s advice to Bank of America customers Oct. 3 after it announces it will institute a $5 monthly debit-card fee. Reason: the Durbin Amendment (named for you-know-who) to the Dodd-Frank Act, which limits “swipe fees” — what banks charge merchants for debit-card transactions — and will diminish the nearly $16 billion a year Charlotte-based BofA and others get from them. He makes his comment on the Senate floor.

 

“I have an inherent duty as a CEO of a publicly owned company to get a return for my shareholders.”
— BofA CEO Brian Moynihan Oct. 5

 

“You don’t have some inherent right just to get a certain amount of profit if your customers are being mistreated.”
— President Barack Obama Oct. 3

 

“I, like you, get a little incensed when you think about how much good you all do.”
— Moynihan to BofA employees during a global town hall Oct. 18, expressing his frustration with the bank’s negative image in light of its community service.“You ought to think a little about that,” he tells critics, “before you start yelling at us.”

 

Never mind
David Darnell, co-chief operating officer, announces Nov. 1 that BofA is canceling the fee. “We have listened to our customers very closely over the last few weeks and recognize their concern with our proposed debit-usage fee.”

 

“What it tells me is that Bank of America is not in a position to lead, and it didn’t lead here.
— Gary Townsend, co-founder of Maryland-based Hill-Townsend Capital LLC, which invests in banks, Nov. 2

  

Fee-Market Capitalism: Bank of America learns it has to be more subtle about screwing its customers.
Slate online magazine Nov. 2

Sources: The Wall Street Journal, ABC News, The Charlotte Observer, CNN, CNBC

 

 

$180 million

Price a New York private-equity firm agreed to pay Charlotte-based Ruddick Corp. for its subsidiary, American & Efird Inc. Ruddick says the Mount Holly-based thread and yarn maker no longer fits strategically with its Matthews-based Harris Teeter Inc. supermarket chain, which generated 93% of its sales last year.

 

McColl-Richardson Field

Name of UNC Charlotte’s future football field after Carolina Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and former Bank of America Corp. CEO Hugh McColl made a joint, undisclosed donation to the school. The 49ers begin play in 2013; the $40 million stadium — naming rights still available — will be completed next year.

 

$24 million

Penalties and restitution a federal judge ordered Charlotteans Sidney and Charlotte Hanson to pay for defrauding investors in a Ponzi scheme. From 2006 to 2009, the couple solicited $22 million. Some of it, purportedly invested in foreign currency, went for personal use, including an 88-acre farm. He was sentenced to 22 years; she faces no criminal charges.

 

Briefs

GASTONIA—CTL Packaging USA will open a factory here by mid-September, employing about 130 during the next four years to make plastic packaging for cosmetics, food and drug companies. The jobs will pay an estimated $42,500, about $9,000 more than Gaston County’s average.

CHARLOTTEThe Electric Power Research Institute, which conducts independent research in the industry, is expanding its local campus. The Palo Alto, Calif.-based nonprofit purchased 108,000 square feet of office and laboratory space next to its existing research center, where it employs about 200. The institute will add an unspecified number of workers during the next five years.

CHARLOTTE — McLean, Va.-based Booz Allen Hamilton, which provides management and technology consulting services, will double its local workforce to 40 by year-end and to 80 by 2015. The average annual salary will range from $80,000 to $150,000.

MORRESVILLE — Hardware retailer Lowe’s closed 20 underperforming stores in 15 states, trimming 1,950 jobs. It will open about half of the 30 stores it expected to open in 2012.

MATTHEWS — Hanover, Md.-based Structural Preservation Systems plans to close its local office, idling about 125 construction workers. A company spokesperson said layoffs will begin in November and be completed by 2012.

CHARLOTTE— The Duke Endowment gave $35 million to Johnson C. Smith University. About $25 million will go toward the construction of a center for its science, technology, engineering and mathematics program. About $5.5 million will help renovate a residence hall, and the rest will fund scholarships.

MOORESVILLEISI Alarms, which installs and monitors security and fire alarms, will complete its move here from Concord this month. It will add 40 employees, increasing its workforce to 100, and expand to 150 within two years.