Big bank won't loan to some gunmakers

Bank of America plans to stop lending to companies that make assault-style guns used for nonmilitary purposes.

“It’s our intention not to finance these military-style firearms for civilian use,” Anne Finucane, a vice chairman at the bank, told Bloomberg News on Tuesday. She said the bank has had “intense conversations over the last few months” with those kinds of gun manufacturers to tell them it won’t finance their operations in the future.

Her comments mark the first time an executive at the nation’s second-largest bank has publicly laid out how it will deal with gun-industry clients following the Feb. 14 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead. The massacre set off a wave of pressure on banks, payments processors and other firms to cut services to the firearms industry, and on money managers to stop investing in gunmakers.

Citigroup said in March it plans to prohibit retail chains that are its customers from offering bump stocks or selling guns to anyone who hasn’t passed a background check or is younger than 21. Investors including BlackRock and State Street are engaging with companies in their portfolios over firearms policies.

Bank of America also won’t underwrite securities issued by makers of military-style guns used by civilians, Finucane said.

Reaction to the firm’s plans has been “mixed” among gun companies, she said. “There are those that will reduce their portfolios, and we’ll work with them, and others that will do something else,” she said.

— Bloomberg News


Fed proposes changes to stress tests

The Federal Reserve is proposing to streamline the annual stress tests that it conducts to see if the nation’s largest financial firms can survive a severe recession.

Randal Quarles, the Fed’s vice chairman for financial supervision, said Tuesday that the proposal is an effort to ensure that the Fed’s regulatory measures are as “simple and transparent” as possible.

The change would cut the number of capital-related requirements large banks must meet from the current 24 to 14. The Fed will consider putting it into effect after a 60-day comment period ends.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

Qatar Airways signed a preliminary agreement Tuesday to buy five Boeing 777 Freighters worth $1.7 billion, the airline said in a statement. The order will be posted on Boeing's orders and deliveries Web page once the purchase is finalized, the statement said. The airline did not say when it expected to complete the deal.

Uber Technologies on Tuesday unveiled a new app for its drivers that includes a real-time earnings tracker. The app will introduce a new status bar to help drivers decide their next location based on a spike in requests, along with a notification feature that allows drivers to see messages about upcoming earnings opportunities and feedback from riders among other things.

Twitter on Tuesday effectively embraced the idea of regulating Internet ads by endorsing the Honest Ads Act, which would require broader disclosures in online political advertising. In a tweet on its public policy feed, the social media company said the legislation “provides an appropriate framework” for ensuring transparency in digital ads and that the company will work with legislators to “refine and advance” the proposal. The legislation, introduced in the Senate last year with bipartisan co-sponsors, would subject online political ads to the same sort of disclosure rules that govern similar content in other media, such as TV and radio.

— From news services


8:30 a.m.: Labor Department releases consumer price index for March.

2 p.m.: Treasury releases federal budget for March.

2 p.m.: Federal Reserve releases minutes from March interest-rate meeting.