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Merged NationsBank is now Bank of America

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The outlook for sign makers continues to be rosy.

NationsBank executives announced Sept. 30 its new identity as Bank of America.

The announcement came after NationsBank Corporation shareholders Sept. 24 officially approved its merger with BankAmerica Corporation.

With the new name comes a new logo. The decision followed months of analyzing the strengths of the Bank of America and NationsBank names, a process that began shortly after the April 13 announcement of the merger, said Hugh McColl, chairman and chief executive officer.

The change to Bank of America comes after NationsBank merged in 1997 with Boatmen's Bank, based in St. Louis. That merger, and the associated name and sign changes, was seen in Springfield and throughout southwest Missouri during 1998.

The merged company is the largest bank in the country, with operations in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Bank of America has $572 billion in total assets, 200,000 employees, more than 4,800 banking centers and almost 14,000 ATMs.

The company said its new look will begin to appear on signs and at other business operations in 1999, with the implementation continuing into 2000.

The Sept. 24 NationsBank shareholder approval ratified a plan of reorganization that included NationsBank Corporation being reincorporated as a Delaware company.

The new BankAmerica Corporation issued 1.1316 shares for each share held by BankAmerica stockholders. NationsBank shareholders automatically owned shares in the new company.

Beginning Oct. 1, the company was listed under the stock symbol of BAC on the New York Stock Exchange.

"We interviewed more than 5,000 customers, clients and associates to determine the respective strengths of the two names we considered," McColl said in a release.

"Based on our research, we are confident that the selection of Bank of America will position our company for success in today's and tomorrow's swiftly changing and intensely competitive financial services industry."

McColl said also that the strength of the word "America" played a part in the brand decision.

"While it is the name of a country, America also stands for a powerful idea to people around the world," he said.

The company said existing Bank of America and NationsBank individual and commercial banking clients and customers will experience no immediate changes as a direct result of the announcement.

Customers of both should continue to bank as they have, using their existing checks, ATM cards, credit cards, and other products and services. Customers will be notified well in advance of any enhancements or changes to their existing banking relationships.

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