Bank of America Digs Deep For Deep Pockets

Oh yes, the rich are different from you and me. And Bank of America Corp. yesterday, through its buyout of U.S. Trust, will now have greater entrée into the portfolios of America¹s wealthiest.

Charles Schwab Corp. of San Francisco yesterday confirmed that it is selling wealth-management specialist U.S. Trust to Bank of America for $3.3 billion in cash. After it adds U.S. Trust, Bank of America expects to manage about $261 billion in assets for the rich--significantly more than any other U.S. bank. In the high-end market, JP Morgan Chase & Co. holds the top spot among U.S. banks, with assets of $204 billion under management.

Even so, the asset size of Bank of America's wealth management arm will rank behind the four full-service stock brokerages: Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, UBS and Morgan Stanley.

The deal is expected to be completed next spring.