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It's not all bad for Bank of America

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  • | 1:39 p.m. November 14, 2011
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Bank of America might be the most battered entity in Corporate America these days. Job cuts in the tens of thousands and announced new fees will do that to a bank with an already shaky recession-era image.

The perception, actually, is so bad that Coffee Talk recently heard a local BofA employee took off his name badge at a networking event. Anything to avoid a connection to the company.

Still, the Sarasota Yacht Club is one business that would be first in the Bank of America praise line. The venerable club recently refinanced its loan on a $12.5 million construction project, and it chose Bank of America for the deal. The refinanced loan with BofA will save the club at least $1.6 million in interest over the next five years.

“This is a great plus for the club,” club treasurer John Woelfel tells Coffee Talk. “It's a big boost.”

A local BofA official who worked on the refinanced loan declined Business Review interview requests.

The construction and renovation project at the yacht club includes a new clubhouse that opened last year. The club's original construction loan, in 2008, was with Cadence Bank. The club sought a new lender, however, when a Houston-based bank holding firm bought Cadence earlier this year. Woelfel says the list of banks the club met with includes local branches of BB&T, Synovus and Northern Trust.

But BofA, says Woelfel, not only had the best terms, it closed the deal the fastest, in five weeks. The bank, says Woelfel, “didn't skimp, but they went at this with great velocity.”


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