Shares of Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) are down 4.9% Monday and trading near the lowest levels since December after the bank said it will suspend its planned $4 billion share repurchase plan and its previously announced dividend increase due to a calculation error related to the company’s acquisition of Merrill Lynch during the financial crisis.
Following the Federal Reserve’s annual Comprehensive Capital Analysis and Review (CCAR) results, the central bank permitted BofA to boost payouts and buybacks for the first time since the crisis. BofA also passed the Fed’s stress tests on the largest U.S. financial services institutions.
BofA now joins Citigroup (NYSE: C), another bank that was once expelled from the Dow Jones Industrial Average, in disappointing investors while adversely impacting the dividend growth of some financial services exchange traded funds. [Despite Citi, Not All Bad News for Bank ETF Dividends]
BofA is a top-10 holding in 28 of nearly 880 equity-based ETFs tracked by S&P Capital IQ. It is worth noting the bank ETFs where BofA looms particularly large are holding up fairly well Monday. For example, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (NYSEArca: XLF), the largest financial services ETF, is down just 0.4%. The Vanguard Financials ETF (NYSEArca: VFH) is lower by just 0.3%.
XLF allocates 6.35% of its weight to shares of BofA while VFH has a 5.1% weight to BofA. The iShares U.S. Financials ETF (NYSEArca: IYF) is down 0.1%. That ETF has an almost 4.8% weight to BofA.
Still, news of BofA’s dividend suspension just weeks after it look as the bank’s quarterly payout would leap to 5 cents from a penny per share will damage dividend growth for the aforementioned ETFs and others. That is particularly when the BofA news is taken in conjunction with the Fed’s previous rejection of Citi’s plans to return capital to shareholders. [Citi’s Bad Dividend News Could Hamper These ETFs]