House committee subpoenas bank docs

A House committee issued a subpoena on Tuesday for documents from the Federal Reserve related to the merger between Bank of America and Merrill Lynch.

House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Edolphus Towns (D-N.Y.), ranking member Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D-Ohio) are seeking e-mails, notes and other documents related to the merger, which was completed at the beginning of 2009.

The subpoena ratchets up an investigation into a merger that once drew praise for Bank of America's CEO Ken Lewis but has since devolved into heavy criticism. Opponents and shareholders associated with major unions have raised questions about why Merill Lynch was allowed to pay millions of dollars in bonuses at the end of 2008.

Bank of America has required repeated government bailouts amounting to roughly $45 billion.