Bank of America letting spenders make the pitch

Filed under: Banking & Finance |

Lots of dignitaries, presidents, heroes and famous folks have been privileged enough to throw out the first pitch of a World Series game, but now you, big spender, may also have a shot.

Bank of America, branding itself as baseball’s official bank, has launched a rewards program that will give customers a chance to earn baseball tickets and even throw out the first pitch of a World Series game.

And for those unlucky spenders who don’t win a chance to make the pitch, the bank will offer a chance to work with the grounds crew – members of which surely feel like sweeping dirt and mowing grass is like winning a contest.

Some credit card users will win a chance to visit a dugout during a game.

Under the program, credit card users will earn one point for every dollar they spend.

For those plotting how they’ll be the one to win a chance to throw the pitch, know that it won’t come cheap. Only those who rack up 100,000 points will be eligible.

Chances for other baseball experiences like visiting a sweaty, tobacco spit-laden dugout or mowing grass are going for 50,000 points each.

New FDIC rules, logo proposed

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.’s Board of Directors has approved for public comment two proposals governing deposit insurance assessments under the Federal Deposit Insurance Reform Act of 2005.

One proposal would create a new system that would more closely tie what banks pay for deposit insurance to the risks they pose. It also would adopt a new base schedule of rates that the FDIC board could adjust, depending on the revenue needs of the insurance fund.

The second proposal would continue to set the designated reserve ratio for the fund at 1.25 percent of estimated insured deposits.

FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said the proposed system of risk-based assessments would allow the FDIC to adhere more closely to sound insurance principles.

The FDIC is also seeking comment about a new logo.

The proposal would, for the first time, require banks and savings associations to use the same sign and rules for advertising FDIC membership.

Comment about the proposals is due within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register, which is expected within a week.

J.P. Morgan’s profits thrice as good

The nation’s third largest financial institution, J.P. Morgan Chase, is reporting that its second-quarter profits more than tripled from a year ago to a record $3.54 billion.

Net profits surged to 99 cents a share. Industry analysts had forecast earnings of 87 cents per share.

Revenue swelled by 19 percent to $14.94 billion. Wall Street had projected revenue of $15.33 billion.

CEO Jamie Dimon said the bank made considerable investments in sales staff, products and technology and that nearly every arm of the company experienced growth.

Analysts noted that the earnings make good on Dimon’s long-promised cost savings pledge after the bank’s 2004 $60 billion acquisition of Bank One, where he had been CEO.

Another branch for Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo will open a branch in the Falcon Landing strip mall at 7473 N. Academy Blvd. on Aug.1.

The branch is expected to offer personal and business banking, as well as mortgage, insurance and investment services.

Chad Buchholz has been named branch manager. Buchholz joined Wells Fargo in 2004 as a teller. He climbed the banking ladder and a year ago was promoted to manager at the Woodland Park branch.

New president, CEO for U.S. Bancorp

U.S. Bancorp has announced that Richard K. Davis will succeed Jerry Grundhofer as president and chief executive officer in December.

Davis, 48, has been president and chief operating officer of the bank since October 2004.

Grundhofer, 61, has been chief executive officer since 1993 and chairman of the board since 2002.

Davis was executive vice president of consumer banking from 1993 to 2003.

U.S. Bancorp also said that its second-quarter profit climbed 7.1 percent, thanks to higher fees from credit and debit cards.

Wyoming extending offer for 529s

Wyoming is offering Colorado residents admission into its highly rated 529 college savings plans.

Wyoming is closing its College Achievement Plan, and is encouraging investors to roll their accounts over to CollegeInvest.

This is the first time that a state has partnered with another state to offer 529 college savings plans.

Under the new structure, Wyoming residents will be able to invest in any 529 plan offered by CollegeInvest, a nonprofit division of the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Money saved through 529 plans can be used nationwide at any eligible educational institution, including public or private colleges, universities, vocational schools and even some foreign universities.

Also, 529 money can be used to pay for qualified higher education expenses such as tuition, fees, room and board, and required supplies.

Rob Larimer covers banking and finance for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.