BofA Trading Losses: Bank Brought In Less Than It Spent In Financial Market On 20 Days In Third Quarter

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BANK OF AMERICA TRADING LOSSES
Bank of America had 20 days of trading losses last quarter. | Getty

Bank of America can't seem to catch a break.

The bank brought in less than it spent in financial markets -- known as a trading loss -- on 20 days in the third quarter, including its largest single-day loss since 2008, a plunge of $119 million, Bloomberg reports.

To put that in perspective, the bank had only three days of trading losses in the second quarter and zero days of trading losses in the first. The poor trading performance helped push Bank of America's banking and markets division to its first loss since 2009, according to Bloomberg.

This isn't the first negative market-related news Bank of America received last quarter. The bank was the worst performer in the Dow Industrial Average for two quarters in a row, the Wall Street Journal reports. And in the wake of the U.S. credit rating downgrade, Bank of America saw its rating fall too.

If the trading losses continue, it may put more pressure on Bank of America to cut costs, though the bank is already pursuing an aggressive strategy to help its bottom line. The bank plans to slash 30,000 jobs over the next few years in hopes of saving $5 billion per year. Even with the trading losses, the bank still pulled in $6.2 billion in profits last quarter.

The poor trading performance comes on the heels of another disaster for Bank of America -- the bank's debit card debacle. Critics derided the bank after it announced in September that it would charge customers $5 per month to use their debit card for purchases starting in 2012. After outcry from consumers, lawmakers and even President Barack Obama, the bank backtracked earlier this week, saying it would scrap the fee.

And the PR misstep could cause the bank to lose more than just the potential revenue from the fee. Nine percent of Bank of America customers said they're "not at all" likely to continue using the bank, in a Harris Interactive Poll. That's more than the 6 percent of Wachovia/Wells Fargo customers and 2 percent of credit union customers.

Bank of America's CEO Brian Moynihan will likely look for ways to recoup the losses from the poor trading performance and the now-ditched debit card charge. He defended the fee last month, saying that the bank "has a right to make a profit."

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