BofA's Lewis is 'One of the Best' Bank Managers: Dick Bove

Bank of America’s CEO Ken Lewis is certainly “one of the best managers of banks” in the United States and is clearly the best person to run the company, said Richard Bove, financial strategist at Rochdale Securities.

“About 20 years ago, there were a whole bunch of small regional banks that were vying to become national banks in the United States—only one made it to the top and that was Bank of America,” Bove told CNBC.

“And it made it to the top because of the wise judgments that Hugh McColl made in making acquisitions and even more importantly, the execution that Ken Lewis demonstrated in making those acquisitions profitable.”

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The SEC will have to defend its proposed $33 million settlement with BofA over bonuses promised to Merrill Lynch employees last year. U.S. District Judge Jed S. Rakoff refused to sign off on the deal and is forcing the two sides to disclose in a court hearing how they negotiated their agreement.

Bove said BofA's acquisition of Merrill Lynch was beneficial for shareholders and as a result, the bank should not be fined.

“From looking at earnings of Bank of America from the first and second quarters, [the shareholders] clearly benefited,” said Bove. “Why should the company be fined for doing something that benefits shareholders?”

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Bove does not own any shares of Bank of America.

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