Bank Of America May Sell Prop. Desk To Alts. Firm

Aug 9 2010 | 2:09pm ET

Add Bank of America to the list of big banks mulling the future of their proprietary trading operations.

BofA may either sell the $3 billion desk or move its traders to other parts of the company, The Wall Street Journal reports. Among the potential buyers of the business could be a private equity firm or hedge fund, according to the Journal.

The Charlotte, N.C.-based firm inherited the prop. desk, led by David Sobotka, when it acquired Merrill Lynch last year.

Under the recently-enacted Volcker rule, banks have four years to divest themselves of their proprietary trading operations. Two other prominent firms are reportedly close to a decision, with Morgan Stanley mulling a spin-off as a hedge fund and Goldman Sachs likely to simply close its desk.

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