CALCULATION OF REGISTRATION FEE
Title of Each Class of
Securities to be Registered
Buffered Leveraged Notes Linked to the S&P 500® Index
|(1)||Calculated in accordance with Rule 457(r) of the Securities Act of 1933.|
Filed Pursuant to Rule 424(b)(2)
Registration Statement No. 333-180488
Pricing Supplement No. 1384
(To Prospectus dated March 30, 2012 and
Series L Prospectus Supplement dated March 30, 2012)
Dated October 23, 2014
Buffered Leveraged Notes Linked to the S&P 500® Index, due October 28, 2019
The notes are unsecured senior notes issued by Bank of America Corporation (BAC). The notes do not guarantee a full return of your principal at maturity, and you could lose up to 100% of your investment.
The notes priced on October 23, 2014 (the pricing date).
The notes will mature on October 28, 2019.
The notes provide 1.35-to-1 upside exposure to increases in the S&P 500® Index (the Market Measure).
If the level of the Market Measure does not change or decreases by no more than 25%, then you will receive the principal amount. However, if the level of the Market Measure decreases by more than 25%, you will be subject to 1.3333-to-1 downside exposure to any decrease of the Market Measure of more than 25%, with 100% of your investment at risk.
All payments on the notes occur at maturity and are subject to the credit risk of Bank of America Corporation
No periodic interest payments will be made on the notes.
The notes will not be listed on any securities exchange.
The notes will be issued in denominations of $10 and whole multiples of $10.
The CUSIP number of the notes is 06048WPX2.
The initial estimated value of the notes is less than the public offering price. As of the pricing date, the initial estimated value of the notes is $9.77 per $10 in principal amount. See Summary on page PS-2 of this pricing supplement, Risk Factors beginning on page PS-5 of this pricing supplement and Structuring the Notes on page PS-20 of this pricing supplement for additional information. The actual value of your notes at any time will reflect many factors and cannot be predicted with accuracy.
Are Not FDIC Insured
Are Not Bank Guaranteed
May Lose Value
Public Offering Price
Proceeds (before expenses)
The notes are unsecured and are not savings accounts, deposits, or other obligations of a bank. The notes are not guaranteed by Bank of America, N.A. or any other bank, are not insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or any other governmental agency and involve investment risks. Potential purchasers of the notes should consider the information in Risk Factors beginning on page PS-5 of this pricing supplement, page S-5 of the prospectus supplement, and page 8 of the prospectus.
None of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC), any state securities commission, or any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these notes or passed upon the adequacy or accuracy of this pricing supplement or the accompanying prospectus supplement or prospectus. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.
We will deliver the notes in book-entry form only through The Depository Trust Company on October 28, 2014 against payment in immediately available funds.
BofA Merrill Lynch
The Buffered Leveraged Notes Linked to the S&P 500® Index, due October 28, 2019 (the notes) are our senior unsecured debt securities. The notes are not guaranteed or insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or secured by collateral. The notes will rank equally with all of our other unsecured and unsubordinated debt. Any payments due on the notes, including any repayment of principal, will be subject to the credit risk of BAC. The notes provide you a leveraged positive return if the Ending Value of the S&P 500® Index (the Market Measure) is greater than its Starting Value. If the level of the Market Measure does not change or decreases from the Starting Value to the Ending Value but not below the Threshold Value, then you will receive the principal amount. If the Ending Value is less than the Threshold Value, you will be subject to 1.3333-to-1 downside exposure to the decrease of the Market Measure below the Threshold Value. In that case, you will lose all or a portion of the principal amount of your notes. Payments on the notes, including the amount you receive at maturity, will be calculated based on the $10 principal amount per unit and will depend on our credit risk and the performance of the Market Measure.
Payments on the notes depend on our credit risk and on the performance of the Market Measure. The economic terms of the notes are based on our internal funding rate, which is the rate we would pay to borrow funds through the issuance of market-linked notes and the economic terms of certain related hedging arrangements we enter into. Our internal funding rate is typically lower than the rate we would pay when we issue conventional fixed or floating rate debt securities. This difference in our internal funding rate, as well as the hedging related charges described below, reduced the economic terms of the notes to you and the initial estimated value of the notes. Due to these factors, the public offering price you pay to purchase the notes is greater than the initial estimated value of the notes.
The initial estimated value of the notes as of the pricing date is set forth on the cover page of this document. For more information about the initial estimated value and the structuring of the notes, see Risk Factors on page PS-5 and Structuring the Notes on page PS-20.
|Market Measure:||The S&P 500® Index, a price return index. (Bloomberg ticker: SPX).|
|Market Measure Performance:|| |
The performance of the Market Measure will be measured according to the percentage change from its Starting Value to its Ending Value.
The Starting Value is 1,950.82, which was the closing level of the Market Measure on the pricing date.
The Threshold Value is 1,463.12, which is 75% of the Starting Value (rounded to two decimal places).
The Ending Value will equal the closing level of the Market Measure on the calculation day. If a Market Disruption Event (as defined below) occurs and is continuing on the calculation day, or if certain other events occur, the calculation agent will determine the Ending Value as set forth in the section Additional Terms of the Notes.
|Calculation Day:||October 23, 2019, subject to postponement as described herein.|
|Downside Leverage Factor:||100%/75%, which is equal to approximately 1.3333|
|Maximum Payment:||Not applicable.|
|Redemption Amount at Maturity:|| |
At maturity, you will receive a Redemption Amount that is greater than the principal amount if the level of the Market Measure increases from the Starting Value to the Ending Value. If the level of the Market Measure does not change or decreases from the Starting Value to the Ending Value but not below the Threshold Value, then the Redemption Amount will equal the principal amount. If the Ending Value is less than the Threshold Value, you will be subject to 1.333-to-1 downside exposure to the decrease of the Market Measure below the Threshold Value, and will receive a Redemption Amount that is less than the principal amount.
Any payments due on the notes, including any repayment of principal, are subject to our credit risk as issuer of the notes.
The Redemption Amount, denominated in U.S. dollars, will be calculated as follows:
If the Ending Value is greater than the Starting Value, you will receive per unit:
Principal Amount +
Principal Amount x Participation Rate x
Ending Value - Starting Value
If the Ending Value is equal to or less than the Starting Value, but is equal to or greater than the Threshold Value, you will receive the principal amount per unit.
If the Ending Value is less than the Threshold Value, you will receive per unit:
Principal Amount x Downside Leverage Factor x
Threshold Value - Ending Value
|Principal at Risk:||You may lose all or a significant portion of the principal amount of the notes. Further, if you sell the notes prior to maturity, you may find that the market value per unit is less than the price that you paid for the notes.|
|Calculation Agent:||The calculation agent will make all determinations associated with the notes. We will appoint our affiliate, MLPF&S, to act as calculation agent. See the section entitled Additional Terms of the NotesRole of the Calculation Agent.|
|Selling Agent:||MLPF&S. MLPF&S is not your fiduciary or advisor solely as a result of the making of the offering of the notes, and you should not rely upon this pricing supplement, or the accompanying prospectus or prospectus supplement, as investment advice or a recommendation to purchase notes.|
|Listing:||The notes will not be listed on a securities exchange or quotation system.|
HYPOTHETICAL PAYMENTS ON THE NOTES
The following table is for purposes of illustration only. It is based on hypothetical values and show hypothetical returns on the notes. It illustrates the calculation of the Redemption Amount and total rate of return based on a hypothetical Starting Value of 100, a hypothetical Threshold Value of 75, the Participation Rate of 135%, the Downside Leverage Factor of 1.3333 and a range of hypothetical Ending Values. The actual amount you receive and the resulting total rate of return will depend on the actual Starting Value, Threshold Value, Ending Value, and whether you hold the notes to maturity. The numbers appearing in the table below have been rounded for ease of analysis, and do not take into account any tax consequences from investing in the notes.
For recent actual levels of the Market Measure, see The Market Measure section below. The Market Measure is a price return index and as such the Ending Value will not include any income generated by dividends paid on the securities included in the Market Measure, which you would otherwise be entitled to receive if you invested in those stocks directly. In addition, all payments on the notes are subject to issuer credit risk.
from the Starting
Value to the Ending
Total Rate of Return
on the Notes
|(1)||This is the hypothetical Threshold Value.|
|(2)||The hypothetical Starting Value of 100 used in the table above has been chosen for illustrative purposes only. The actual Starting Value is 1,950.82, which was the closing level of the Market Measure on October 23, 2014.|
Your investment in the notes is subject to investment risks, many of which differ from those of a conventional debt security. Your decision to purchase notes should be made only after carefully considering the risks, including those discussed below, in light of your particular circumstances. The notes are not an appropriate investment for you if you are not knowledgeable about the material terms of the notes or investments in equity or equity-based securities in general.
General Risks Relating to the Notes
Your investment may result in a loss; there is no guaranteed return of principal. There is no fixed principal repayment amount on the notes at maturity. You will lose approximately 1.3333% of the principal amount for each 1% that the Ending Value is less than the Starting Value by more than 25%. Therefore, if the Ending Value is less than the Threshold Value, you will receive a Redemption Amount at maturity that will be less than the principal amount of your notes, and you may lose all or a significant portion of your investment.
Your return on the notes may be less than the yield on a conventional fixed or floating rate debt security of comparable maturity. There will be no periodic interest payments on the notes as there would be on a conventional fixed-rate or floating-rate debt security having the same maturity. Any return that you receive on the notes may be less than the return you would earn if you purchased a conventional debt security with the same maturity date. As a result, your investment in the notes may not reflect the full opportunity cost to you when you consider factors, such as inflation, that affect the time value of money.
Payments on the notes are subject to our credit risk, and actual or perceived changes in our creditworthiness are expected to affect the value of the notes. The notes are our senior unsecured debt securities. As a result, your receipt of the Redemption Amount at maturity is dependent upon our ability to repay our obligations on the maturity date, regardless of whether the Market Measure increases from the Starting Value to the Ending Value. No assurance can be given as to what our financial condition will be on the maturity date. If we become unable to meet our financial obligations as they become due, you may not receive the amounts payable under the terms of the notes.
In addition, our credit ratings are an assessment by ratings agencies of our ability to pay our obligations. Consequently, our perceived creditworthiness and actual or anticipated decreases in our credit ratings or increases in the spread between the yield on our securities and the yield on U.S. Treasury securities (the credit spread) prior to the maturity date may adversely affect the market value of the notes. However, because your return on the notes depends upon factors in addition to our ability to pay our obligations, such as the level of the Market Measure, an improvement in our credit ratings will not reduce the other investment risks related to the notes.
The public offering price you pay for the notes exceeds their initial estimated value. The initial estimated value of the notes is an estimate only, determined as of the pricing date by reference to our and our affiliates pricing models. These pricing models consider certain assumptions and variables, including our credit spreads, our internal funding rate, mid-market terms on hedging transactions, expectations on interest rates and volatility, price-sensitivity analysis, and the expected term of the notes. These pricing models rely in part on certain forecasts about future events, which may prove to be incorrect.
The initial estimated value does not represent a minimum or maximum price at which we, MLPF&S or any of our affiliates would be willing to purchase your notes in any secondary market (if any exists) at any time. The value of your notes at any time after the date of this pricing supplement will vary based on many factors that cannot be predicted with accuracy, including our creditworthiness and changes in market conditions.
The quoted price of any of our affiliates for the notes could be higher or lower than the price that you paid for them.
If you attempt to sell the notes prior to maturity, their market value may be lower than the price you paid for them and lower than their initial estimated value. This is due to, among other things, changes in the level of the Market Measure, our internal funding rate, and the inclusion in the public offering price of the hedging related charges, all as further described in Structuring the Notes on page PS-20. These factors, together with various credit, market and economic factors over the term of the notes, are expected to reduce the price at which you may be able to sell the notes in any secondary market and will affect the value of the notes in complex and unpredictable ways.
We cannot assure you that a trading market for your notes will ever develop or be maintained. We will not list the notes on any securities exchange. We cannot predict how the notes will trade in any secondary market or whether that market will be liquid or illiquid.
The development of a trading market for the notes will depend on our financial performance and other factors, including changes in the level of the Market Measure. The number of potential buyers of your notes in any secondary market may be limited. We anticipate that MLPF&S will act as a market-maker for the notes, but neither we nor MLPF&S is required to do so. There is no assurance that any party will be willing to purchase your notes at any price in any secondary market. MLPF&S may discontinue its market-making activities as to the notes at any time. To the extent that MLPF&S engages in any market-making activities, it may bid for or offer the notes. Any price at which MLPF&S may bid for, offer, purchase, or sell any notes may differ from the values determined by pricing models that it may use, whether as a result of dealer discounts, mark-ups, or other transaction costs. These bids, offers, or completed transactions may affect the prices, if any, at which the notes might otherwise trade in the market.
In addition, if at any time MLPF&S were to cease acting as a market-maker as to the notes, it is likely that there would be significantly less liquidity in the secondary market. In such a case, the price at which the notes could be sold likely would be lower than if an active market existed.
The Redemption Amount will not reflect changes in the level of the Market Measure other than on the calculation day. Changes in the level of the Market Measure during the term of the notes other than on the calculation day will not be reflected in the calculation of the Redemption Amount. To calculate the Redemption Amount, the calculation agent will compare only the Ending Value to the Starting Value or the Threshold Value, as applicable. No other levels of the Market Measure will be taken into account. As a result, even if the level of the Market Measure has increased at certain times during the term of the notes, you will receive a Redemption Amount that is less than the principal amount if the Ending Value is less than the Threshold Value.
The publisher of the Market Measure may adjust the Market Measure in a way that affects its levels, and the publisher has no obligation to consider your interests. The publisher of the Market Measure can add, delete, or substitute the components included in the Market Measure or make other methodological changes that could change its level. A new security included in the Market Measure may perform significantly better or worse than the replaced security, and the performance will impact the level of the Market Measure. Additionally, the publisher may alter, discontinue, or suspend calculation or dissemination of the Market Measure. Any of these actions could adversely affect the value of your notes. The publisher of the Market Measure will have no obligation to consider your interests in calculating or revising the Market Measure.
If you attempt to sell notes prior to maturity, their market value, if any, will be affected by various factors that interrelate in complex ways, and their market value may be less than the principal amount. You have no right to have your notes redeemed prior to maturity. If you wish to liquidate your investment in the notes prior to maturity, your only option would be to sell them. At that time, there may be an illiquid market for your notes or no market at all. Even if you were able to sell your notes, there are many factors outside of our control that may affect their market value, some of which, but not all, are stated below. The impact of any one factor may be offset or magnified by the effect of another factor. The
following paragraphs describe a specific factors expected impact on the market value of the notes, assuming all other conditions remain constant.
Level of the Market Measure. We anticipate that the market value of the notes prior to maturity generally will depend to a significant extent on the level of the Market Measure. In general, it is expected that the market value of the notes will decrease as the level of the Market Measure decreases, and increase as the level of the Market Measure increases. However, as the level of the Market Measure increases or decreases, the market value of the notes is not expected to increase or decrease at the same rate. If you sell your notes when the level of the Market Measure is less than, or not sufficiently above the Threshold Value, then you may receive less than the principal amount of your notes.
Volatility of the Market Measure. Volatility is the term used to describe the size and frequency of market fluctuations. Increases or decreases in the volatility of the Market Measure may have an adverse impact on the market value of the notes. Even if the level of the Market Measure increases after the pricing date, if you are able to sell your notes before their maturity date, you may receive substantially less than the amount that would be payable at maturity based on that level because of the anticipation that the level of the Market Measure will continue to fluctuate until the Ending Value is determined.
Economic and Other Conditions Generally. The general economic conditions of the capital markets in the United States, as well as geopolitical conditions and other financial, political, regulatory, and judicial events and related uncertainties that affect stock markets generally, may affect the level of the Market Measure and the market value of the notes.
Interest Rates. We expect that changes in interest rates will affect the market value of the notes. In general, if U.S. interest rates increase, we expect that the market value of the notes will decrease, and conversely, if U.S. interest rates decrease, we expect that the market value of the notes will increase. In general, we expect that the longer the amount of time that remains until maturity, the more significant the impact of these changes will be on the value of the notes.
Dividend Yields. In general, if cumulative dividend yields on the securities included in the Market Measure increase, we anticipate that the market value of the notes will decrease; conversely, if those dividend yields decrease, we anticipate that the market value of your notes will increase.
Our Financial Condition and Creditworthiness. Our perceived creditworthiness, including any increases in our credit spreads and any actual or anticipated decreases in our credit ratings, may adversely affect the market value of the notes. In general, we expect the longer the amount of time that remains until maturity, the more significant the impact will be on the value of the notes. However, a decrease in our credit spreads or an improvement in our credit ratings will not necessarily increase the market value of the notes.
Time to Maturity. There may be a disparity between the market value of the notes prior to maturity and their value at maturity. This disparity is often called a time value, premium, or discount, and reflects expectations concerning the level of the Market Measure prior to the maturity date. As the time to maturity decreases, this disparity will likely decrease, such that the value of the notes will approach the expected Redemption Amount to be paid at maturity.
Trading and hedging activities by us and our affiliates may affect your return on the notes and their market value. We and our affiliates, including MLPF&S, may buy or sell the securities included in the Market Measure, or futures or options contracts on the Market Measure or its component securities. We may execute such purchases or sales for our own accounts, for business reasons, or in connection with hedging our obligations under the notes. These transactions could affect the value of these securities and, in turn, the level of the Market Measure in a manner that could be adverse to your investment in the notes. On or before the pricing date, any purchases or sales by us, our affiliates or others on our behalf may
increase the level of the Market Measure or its component securities. Consequently, the values of that Market Measure or the securities included in the Market Measure may decrease subsequent to the pricing date, adversely affecting the market value of the notes.
We, or one or more of our affiliates, including MLPF&S, may also engage in hedging activities that could have increased the level of the Market Measure on the pricing date. In addition, these activities may decrease the market value of your notes prior to maturity, including on the calculation day, and may affect the Redemption Amount. We or one or more of our affiliates, including MLPF&S, may purchase or otherwise acquire a long or short position in the notes, and may hold or resell notes. For example, MLPF&S may enter into these transactions in connection with any market making activities in which they engage. We cannot assure you that these activities will not adversely affect the level of the Market Measure, the market value of your notes prior to maturity or the Redemption Amount.
Our trading, hedging and other business activities may create conflicts of interest with you. We or one or more of our affiliates, including MLPF&S, may engage in trading activities related to the Market Measure and to securities included in the Market Measure that are not for your account or on your behalf. We or one or more of our affiliates, including MLPF&S, also may issue or underwrite other financial instruments with returns based upon the Market Measure. These trading and other business activities may present a conflict of interest between your interest in the notes and the interests we and our affiliates, including MLPF&S, may have in our proprietary accounts, in facilitating transactions, including block trades, for our or their other customers, and in accounts under our or their management. These trading and other business activities, if they influence the level of the Market Measure or secondary trading in your notes, could be adverse to your interests as a beneficial owner of the notes.
We expect to enter into arrangements or adjust or close out existing transactions to hedge our obligations under the notes. We or our affiliates also may enter into hedging transactions relating to other notes or instruments that we issue, some of which may have returns calculated in a manner related to that of the notes. We may enter into such hedging arrangements with one of our subsidiaries or affiliates. Such a party may enter into additional hedging transactions with other parties relating to the notes and the Market Measure. This hedging activity is expected to result in a profit to those engaging in the hedging activity, which could be more or less than initially expected, or the hedging activity could also result in a loss. We or our affiliates will price these hedging transactions with the intent to realize a profit, regardless of whether the value of the notes increases or decreases.
There may be potential conflicts of interest involving the calculation agent. We have the right to appoint and remove the calculation agent. MLPF&S will be the calculation agent for notes and, as such, determined the Starting Value and the Threshold Value, and will determine the Ending Value, and the Redemption Amount. Under some circumstances, these duties could result in a conflict of interest between its status as our affiliate and its responsibilities as calculation agent. These conflicts could occur, for instance, in connection with the calculation agents determination as to whether a Market Disruption Event has occurred, or in connection with judgments that it would be required to make if the publication of the Market Measure is discontinued. See the sections entitled Additional Terms of the NotesMarket Disruption Events, Adjustments to the Market Measure, and Discontinuance of the Market Measure. The calculation agent will be required to carry out its duties in good faith and use its reasonable judgment. However, because we expect to control the calculation agent, potential conflicts of interest could arise.
The U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the notes are uncertain, and may be adverse to a holder of the notes. No statutory, judicial, or administrative authority directly addresses the characterization of the notes or securities similar to the notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes. As a result, significant aspects of the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the notes are not certain. Under the terms of the notes, you will have agreed with us to treat the notes as single financial contracts, as described under U.S. Federal Income Tax SummaryGeneral. If the Internal Revenue Service (the IRS) were successful in asserting an alternative characterization for the notes,
the timing and character of gain or loss with respect to the notes may differ. No ruling will be requested from the IRS with respect to the notes and no assurance can be given that the IRS will agree with the statements made in the section entitled U.S. Federal Income Tax Summary. You are urged to consult with your own tax advisor regarding all aspects of the U.S. federal income tax consequences of investing in the notes.
Risks Relating to the Market Measure
You must rely on your own evaluation of the merits of an investment linked to the Market Measure. In the ordinary course of their businesses, our affiliates may have expressed views on expected movements in the Market Measure or the securities included in the Market Measure, and may do so in the future. These views or reports may be communicated to our clients and clients of our affiliates. However, these views are subject to change from time to time. Moreover, other professionals who deal in markets relating to the Market Measure may at any time have significantly different views from those of our affiliates. For these reasons, you are encouraged to derive information concerning the Market Measure or its component securities from multiple sources, and you should not rely on the views expressed by our affiliates.
You will have no rights as a security holder, you will have no rights to receive any of the securities represented by the Market Measure, and you will not be entitled to dividends or other distributions by the issuers of these securities. The notes are our debt securities. They are not equity instruments, shares of stock, or securities of any other issuer. Investing in the notes will not make you a holder of any of the securities represented by the Market Measure. You will not have any voting rights, any rights to receive dividends or other distributions, or any other rights with respect to those securities. As a result, the return on your notes may not reflect the return you would realize if you actually owned those securities and received the dividends paid or other distributions made in connection with them. Additionally, the level of the Market Measure reflects only the prices of those component securities and does not take into consideration the value of dividends paid on those securities. Your notes will be paid in cash and you have no right to receive delivery of any of these securities.
Except to the extent that our common stock is included in the Market Measure, we do not control any other company included in the Market Measure and are not responsible for any disclosure made by any other company. We currently, or in the future, may engage in business with companies included in the Market Measure, and we or our affiliates may from time to time own securities of companies included in the Market Measure. However, neither we nor any of our affiliates, including MLPF&S, have the ability to control the actions of any of these companies or have undertaken any independent review of, or made any due diligence inquiry with respect to, any of these companies, unless (and only to the extent that) our securities are represented by the Market Measure. In addition, neither we nor any of our affiliates are responsible for the calculation of the Market Measure. You should make your own investigation into the Market Measure.
Neither the publisher of the Market Measure nor any other companies included in the Market Measure will be involved in the offering of the notes or will have any obligation of any sort with respect to the notes. As a result, none of those companies will have any obligation to take your interests as holders of the notes into consideration for any reason, including taking any corporate actions that might affect the value of the securities represented by the Market Measure or the value of the notes.
Our business activities relating to the companies represented by the Market Measure may create conflicts of interest with you. We and our affiliates, including MLPF&S, at the time of the offering of the notes or in the future, may engage in business with the companies represented by the Market Measure, including making loans to, equity investments in, or providing investment banking, asset management, or other services to those companies, their affiliates, and their competitors.
In connection with these activities, we or our affiliates may receive information about those companies that we will not divulge to you or other third parties. One or more of our affiliates have published, and in the future may publish, research reports on one or more of these companies. This research is modified from time to time without notice and may express opinions or provide recommendations that are inconsistent with purchasing or holding your notes. Any of these activities may affect the market value of your notes. We, or any of our affiliates, do not make any representation to any purchasers of the notes regarding any matters whatsoever relating to the issuers of the securities included in the Market Measure. Any prospective purchaser of the notes should undertake an independent investigation of the companies included in the Market Measure to a level that, in its judgment, is appropriate to make an informed decision regarding an investment in the notes. The composition of the Market Measure does not reflect any investment recommendations from us or our affiliates.
USE OF PROCEEDS
We will use the net proceeds we receive from the sale of the notes for the purposes described in the accompanying prospectus under Use of Proceeds. In addition, we expect that we or our affiliates may use a portion of the net proceeds to hedge our obligations under the notes.
ADDITIONAL TERMS OF THE NOTES
The notes are part of a series of medium-term notes entitled Medium-Term Notes, Series L issued under the Senior Indenture, as amended and supplemented from time to time. The Senior Indenture is more fully described in the prospectus supplement and prospectus. The following description of the notes supplements the description of the general terms and provisions of the notes and debt securities set forth under the headings Description of the Notes in the prospectus supplement and Description of Debt Securities in the prospectus. These documents should be read in connection with this pricing supplement.
The notes will be issued in denominations of $10 and whole multiples of $10. You may transfer the notes only in whole multiples of $10.
Prior to maturity, the notes are not repayable at our option or at your option.
The notes are not subject to any sinking fund.
The notes will be issued in book-entry form only.
The Calculation Day
If the scheduled calculation day is not a Market Measure Business Day or if there is a Market Disruption Event on that day, the calculation day will be the immediately succeeding Market Measure Business Day during which no Market Disruption Event occurs or is continuing; provided that the Ending Value will be determined (or, if not determinable, estimated) by the calculation agent in a manner which the calculation agent considers commercially reasonable under the circumstances on a date no later than the second scheduled Market Measure Business Day prior to the maturity date, regardless of the occurrence of a Market Disruption Event on that second scheduled Market Measure Business Day. Even if the calculation day is postponed for any reason, the maturity date will not be postponed.
A Market Measure Business Day means a day on which (1) the New York Stock Exchange (the NYSE) and The NASDAQ Stock Market (the NASDAQ), or their successors, are open for trading and (2) the Market Measure or any successor is calculated and published.
Market Disruption Events
Market Disruption Event means one or more of the following events, as determined by the calculation agent in its sole discretion:
|(A)||the suspension of or material limitation on trading, in each case, for more than two consecutive hours of trading, or during the one-half hour period preceding the close of trading, on the primary exchange where the securities included in the Market Measure trade (without taking into account any extended or after-hours trading session), in 20% or more of the securities which then comprise the Market Measure or any successor index; and|
|(B)||the suspension of or material limitation on trading, in each case, for more than two consecutive hours of trading, or during the one-half hour period preceding the close of trading, on the primary exchange that trades options contracts or futures contracts related to the Market Measure (without taking into account any extended or after-hours trading session), whether by reason of movements in price otherwise exceeding levels permitted by the relevant exchange or otherwise, in options contracts or futures contracts related to the Market Measure, or any successor index.|
For the purpose of determining whether a Market Disruption Event has occurred:
|(1)||a limitation on the hours in a trading day and/or number of days of trading will not constitute a Market Disruption Event if it results from an announced change in the regular business hours of the relevant exchange;|
|(2)||a decision to permanently discontinue trading in the relevant futures or options contracts related to the Market Measure, or any successor index, will not constitute a Market Disruption Event;|
|(3)||a suspension in trading in a futures or options contract on the Market Measure, or any successor index, by a major securities market by reason of (a) a price change violating limits set by that securities market, (b) an imbalance of orders relating to those contracts, or (c) a disparity in bid and ask quotes relating to those contracts will constitute a suspension of or material limitation on trading in futures or options contracts related to the Market Measure;|
|(4)||a suspension of or material limitation on trading on the relevant exchange will not include any time when that exchange is closed for trading under ordinary circumstances; and|
|(5)||for the purpose of clause (A) above, any limitations on trading during significant market fluctuations under NYSE Rule 80B, or any applicable rule or regulation enacted or promulgated by the NYSE or any other self-regulatory organization or the SEC of similar scope as determined by the calculation agent, will be considered material.|
Adjustments to the Market Measure
After the pricing date, the publisher of the Market Measure may make a material change in the method of calculating the Market Measure or in another way that changes it such that it does not, in the opinion of the calculation agent, fairly represent the level of the index had those changes or modifications not been made. In this case, the calculation agent will, at the close of business in New York, New York, on the date that the closing level is to be calculated, make adjustments to the Market Measure. Those adjustments will be made in good faith as necessary to arrive at a calculation of a level of the Market Measure as if those changes or modifications had not been made, and calculate the closing level of the Market Measure, as so adjusted.
Discontinuance of the Market Measure
The publisher of the Market Measure may discontinue publication of the Market Measure. The publisher or another entity may then publish a substitute index that the calculation agent determines, in its sole discretion, to be comparable to the original index (a successor index). If this occurs, the calculation agent will substitute the successor index as calculated by that publisher or any other entity and calculate the Ending Value. If the calculation agent selects a successor index, the calculation agent will give written notice of the selection to the trustee, to us, and to the holders of the notes.
If the publisher of the Market Measure discontinues its publication before the calculation day and the calculation agent does not select a successor index, then on the day that would have been the calculation day, until the earlier to occur of:
the determination of the Ending Value; and
a determination by the calculation agent that a successor index is available,
the calculation agent will compute a substitute level for the Market Measure in accordance with the procedures last used to calculate the Market Measure before any discontinuance. The calculation agent will make available to holders of the notes information regarding those levels by means of Bloomberg L.P., Thomson Reuters, a website, or any other means selected by the calculation agent in its reasonable discretion.
If a successor index is selected or the calculation agent calculates a level as a substitute for the Market Measure, the successor index or level will be used as a substitute for all purposes, including for the purpose of determining whether a Market Disruption Event exists.
Notwithstanding these alternative arrangements, any modification or discontinuance of the publication of the Market Measure may adversely affect trading in the notes.
Role of the Calculation Agent
The calculation agent has the sole discretion to make all determinations regarding notes as described in this pricing supplement, including determinations regarding the Starting Value, the Ending Value, the Market Measure, the Redemption Amount, any Market Disruption Events, a successor index, Market Measure Business Days, business days, the calculation day, and determinations related to the discontinuance of the Market Measure. Absent manifest error, all determinations of the calculation agent will be conclusive for all purposes and final and binding on you and us, without any liability on the part of the calculation agent.
MLPF&S will act as the calculation agent for the notes. However, we may change the calculation agent at any time without notifying you.
Same-Day Settlement and Payment
The notes will be delivered in book-entry form only through The Depository Trust Company against payment by purchasers of the notes in immediately available funds. We will pay the Redemption Amount in immediately available funds so long as the notes are maintained in book-entry form.
Events of Default and Acceleration
Events of default are defined in the Senior Indenture. If such event occurs and is continuing, the amount payable to a holder of the notes upon any acceleration permitted under the Senior Indenture will be equal to the Redemption Amount described above, determined as if the notes matured on the date of acceleration. If a bankruptcy proceeding is commenced in respect of us, your claim may be limited under applicable bankruptcy law. In case of a default in payment of the notes, whether at their maturity or upon acceleration, they will not bear a default interest rate.
The notes will not be listed on any securities exchange or quotation system.
THE MARKET MEASURE
All disclosures contained in this document regarding the Market Measure, including, without limitation, its make up, method of calculation, and changes in its components, have been derived from publicly available sources. The information reflects the policies of, and is subject to change by, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (the Index Sponsor). The Index Sponsor, which licenses the copyright and all other rights to the Market Measure, has no obligation to continue to publish, and may discontinue publication of, the Market Measure. The consequences of the Index Sponsor discontinuing publication of the Market Measure are discussed in the section above entitled Additional Terms of the NotesDiscontinuance of the Market Measure. None of us, the calculation agent, or MLPF&S accepts any responsibility for the calculation, maintenance or publication of the Market Measure or any successor index.
The Index is intended to provide an indication of the pattern of common stock price movement. The calculation of the level of the Market Measure is based on the relative value of the aggregate market value of the common stocks of 500 companies as of a particular time compared to the aggregate average market value of the common stocks of 500 similar companies during the base period of the years 1941 through 1943.
The Index Sponsor chooses companies for inclusion in the Market Measure with the aim of achieving a distribution by broad industry groupings that approximates the distribution of these groupings in the common stock population of its Stock Guide Database of over 10,000 companies, which the Index Sponsor uses as an assumed model for the composition of the total market. Relevant criteria employed by the Index Sponsor include the viability of the particular company, the extent to which that company represents the industry group to which it is assigned, the extent to which the market price of that companys common stock generally is responsive to changes in the affairs of the respective industry and the market value and trading activity of the common stock of that company. Ten main groups of companies constitute the Market Measure, with the approximate percentage of the market capitalization of the Market Measure included in each group as of September 30, 2014 indicated in parentheses: Information Technology (19.7%); Financials (16.3%); Health Care (13.9%); Consumer Discretionary (11.7%); Industrials (10.3%); Energy (9.7%); Consumer Staples (9.5%); Materials (3.5%); Utilities (3.0%); and Telecommunication Services (2.4%). The Index Sponsor may from time to time, in its sole discretion, add companies to, or delete companies from, the Market Measure to achieve the objectives stated above.
The Index Sponsor calculates the Market Measure by reference to the prices of the constituent stocks of the Market Measure without taking account of the value of dividends paid on those stocks. As a result, the return on the notes will not reflect the return you would realize if you actually owned the Market Measure constituent stocks and received the dividends paid on those stocks.
Computation of the Market Measure
While the Index Sponsor currently employs the following methodology to calculate the Market Measure, no assurance can be given that the Index Sponsor will not modify or change this methodology in a manner that may affect the Redemption Amount.
Historically, the market value of any component stock of the Market Measure was calculated as the product of the market price per share and the number of then outstanding shares of such component stock. In March 2005, the Index Sponsor began shifting the Market Measure halfway from a market capitalization weighted formula to a float-adjusted formula, before moving the Market Measure to full float adjustment on September 16, 2005. The Index Sponsors criteria for selecting stocks for the Market Measure did not change with the shift to float adjustment. However, the adjustment affects each companys weight in the Market Measure.
Under float adjustment, the share counts used in calculating the Market Measure reflect only those shares that are available to investors, not all of a companys outstanding shares. Float adjustment excludes shares that are closely held by control groups, other publicly traded companies or government agencies.
In September 2012, all shareholdings representing more than 5% of a stocks outstanding shares, other than holdings by block owners, were removed from the float for
purposes of calculating the Market Measure. Generally, these control holders will include officers and directors, private equity, venture capital and special equity firms, other publicly traded companies that hold shares for control, strategic partners, holders of restricted shares, ESOPs, employee and family trusts, foundations associated with the company, holders of unlisted share classes of stock, government entities at all levels (other than government retirement/pension funds) and any individual person who controls a 5% or greater stake in a company as reported in regulatory filings. However, holdings by block owners, such as depositary banks, pension funds, mutual funds and ETF providers, 401(k) plans of the company, government retirement/pension funds, investment funds of insurance companies, asset managers and investment funds, independent foundations and savings and investment plans, will ordinarily be considered part of the float.
Treasury stock, stock options, restricted shares, equity participation units, warrants, preferred stock, convertible stock, and rights are not part of the float. Shares held in a trust to allow investors in countries outside the country of domicile, such as depositary shares and Canadian exchangeable shares are normally part of the float unless those shares form a control block. If a company has multiple classes of stock outstanding, shares in an unlisted or non-traded class are treated as a control block.
For each stock, an investable weight factor (IWF) is calculated by dividing the available float shares by the total shares outstanding. As of September 21, 2012, available float shares are defined as the total shares outstanding less shares held by control holders. This calculation is subject to a 5% minimum threshold for control blocks. For example, if a companys officers and directors hold 3% of the companys shares, and no other control group holds 5% of the companys shares, the Index Sponsor would assign that company an IWF of 1.00, as no control group meets the 5% threshold. However, if a companys officers and directors hold 3% of the companys shares and another control group holds 20% of the companys shares, the Index Sponsor would assign an IWF of 0.77, reflecting the fact that 23% of the companys outstanding shares are considered to be held for control. For companies with multiple classes of stock, the Index Sponsor calculates the weighted average IWF for each stock using the proportion of the total company market capitalization of each share class as weights.
The Index is calculated using a base-weighted aggregate methodology. The level of the Market Measure reflects the total market value of all 500 component stocks relative to the base period of the years 1941 through 1943. An indexed number is used to represent the results of this calculation in order to make the level easier to work with and track over time. The actual total market value of the component stocks during the base period of the years 1941 through 1943 has been set to an indexed level of 10. This is often indicated by the notation 1941- 43 = 10. In practice, the daily calculation of the Market Measure is computed by dividing the total market value of the component stocks by the index divisor. By itself, the index divisor is an arbitrary number. However, in the context of the calculation of the Market Measure, it serves as a link to the original base period level of the Market Measure. The index divisor keeps the Market Measure comparable over time and is the manipulation point for all adjustments to the Market Measure, which is index maintenance.
Index maintenance includes monitoring and completing the adjustments for company additions and deletions, share changes, stock splits, stock dividends, and stock price adjustments due to company restructuring or spinoffs. Some corporate actions, such as stock splits and stock dividends, require changes in the common shares outstanding and the stock prices of the companies in the Market Measure, and do not require index divisor adjustments.
To prevent the level of the Market Measure from changing due to corporate actions, corporate actions which affect the total market value of the Market Measure require an index divisor adjustment. By adjusting the index divisor for the change in market value, the level of the Market Measure remains constant and does not reflect the corporate actions of individual companies in the Market Measure. Index divisor adjustments are made after the close of trading and after the calculation of the Market Measure closing level.
Changes in a companys shares outstanding of 5.00% or more due to mergers, acquisitions, public offerings, tender offers, Dutch auctions, or exchange offers are made as soon as reasonably possible. All other changes of 5.00% or more (due to, for example, company
stock repurchases, private placements, redemptions, exercise of options, warrants, conversion of preferred stock, notes, debt, equity participation units, at-the-market offerings, or other recapitalizations) are made weekly and are announced on Wednesdays for implementation after the close of trading on the following Wednesday. Changes of less than 5.00% due to a companys acquisition of another company in the Market Measure are made as soon as reasonably possible. All other changes of less than 5.00% are accumulated and made quarterly on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December, and are usually announced two to five days prior.
Changes in IWFs of more than five percentage points caused by corporate actions (such as merger and acquisition activity, restructurings, or spinoffs) will be made as soon as reasonably possible. Other changes in IWFs will be made annually when IWFs are reviewed.
The following graph shows the monthly historical performance of the Market Measure in the period from January 2009 through September 2014. We obtained this historical data from Bloomberg L.P. We have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information obtained from Bloomberg L.P. On October 23, 2014, the closing level of the Market Measure was 1,950.82.
Historical Performance of the Market Measure
This historical data on the Market Measure is not necessarily indicative of the future performance of the Market Measure or what the value of the notes may be. Any historical upward or downward trend in the level of the Market Measure during any period set forth above is not an indication that the level of the Market Measure is more or less likely to increase or decrease at any time over the term of the notes.
Before investing in the notes, you should consult publicly available sources for the levels and trading pattern of the Market Measure.
S&P® is a registered trademark of Standard & Poors Financial Services LLC (S&P) and Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (Dow Jones). These trademarks have been licensed for use by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC. Standard & Poors®, S&P 500® and S&P® are trademarks of S&P. These trademarks have been sublicensed for certain purposes by our subsidiary, MLPF&S. The Market Measure is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and/or its affiliates and has been licensed for use by MLPF&S.
The notes are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones, S&P or any of their respective affiliates (collectively, S&P Dow Jones Indices). S&P Dow Jones Indices make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the holders of the notes or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the notes particularly or the ability of the Market Measure to track general market performance. S&P Dow Jones Indices only relationship to MLPF&S with respect to the Market Measure is the licensing of the Market Measure and certain trademarks, service marks and/or trade names of S&P Dow Jones Indices and/or its third party licensors. The Market Measure is determined, composed and calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices without regard to us, MLPF&S, or the notes. S&P Dow Jones Indices have no obligation to take our needs or the needs of MLPF&S or holders of the notes into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the Market Measure. S&P Dow Jones Indices are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the prices, and amount of the notes or the timing of the issuance or sale of the notes or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the notes are to be converted into cash. S&P Dow Jones Indices have no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the notes. There is no assurance that investment products based on the Market Measure will accurately track index performance or provide positive investment returns. S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and its subsidiaries are not investment advisors. Inclusion of a security or futures contract within an index is not a recommendation by S&P Dow Jones Indices to buy, sell, or hold such security or futures contract, nor is it considered to be investment advice. Notwithstanding the foregoing, CME Group Inc. and its affiliates may independently issue and/or sponsor financial products unrelated to the notes currently being issued by us, but which may be similar to and competitive with the notes. In addition, CME Group Inc. and its affiliates may trade financial products which are linked to the performance of the Market Measure. It is possible that this trading activity will affect the value of the notes.
S&P DOW JONES INDICES DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ADEQUACY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE INDEX OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO OR ANY COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ORAL OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION (INCLUDING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS) WITH RESPECT THERETO. S&P DOW JONES INDICES SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DAMAGES OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR DELAYS THEREIN. S&P DOW JONES INDICES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE OR AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY US, MLPF&S, HOLDERS OF THE NOTES, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE INDEX OR WITH RESPECT TO ANY DATA RELATED THERETO. WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT WHATSOEVER SHALL S&P DOW JONES INDICES BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES, LOST TIME OR GOODWILL, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBLITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE. THERE ARE NO THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES OF ANY AGREEMENTS OR ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND MLPF&S, OTHER THAN THE LICENSORS OF S&P DOW JONES INDICES.
SUPPLEMENTAL PLAN OF DISTRIBUTIONCONFLICTS OF INTEREST
Our broker-dealer subsidiary, MLPF&S, will act as our selling agent in connection with the offering of the notes. The selling agent is a party to the Distribution Agreement described in the Supplemental Plan of Distribution on page S-14 of the accompanying prospectus supplement.
The selling agent is a member of FINRA. Accordingly, the offering of the notes will conform to the requirements of FINRA Rule 5121.
The selling agent is not your fiduciary or advisor solely as a result of the offering of the notes, and you should not rely upon this pricing supplement, or the accompanying prospectus or prospectus supplement as investment advice or a recommendation to purchase notes. You should make your own investment decision regarding the notes after consulting with your legal, tax, and other advisors.
If you place an order to purchase the notes from MLPF&S, you are consenting to MLPF&S acting as a principal in effecting the transaction for your account.
The selling agent and any of our other broker-dealer affiliates, may use this pricing supplement, and the accompanying prospectus supplement and prospectus for offers and sales in secondary market transactions and market-making transactions in the notes. However, they are not obligated to engage in such secondary market transactions and/or market-making transactions. The selling agent may act as principal or agent in these transactions, and any such sales will be made at prices related to prevailing market conditions at the time of the sale.
At MLPF&Ss discretion, during an initial undetermined period after the issuance of the notes, any purchase price paid by MLPF&S may offer to buy the notes in the secondary market at a price that may exceed the estimated initial value. Any price offered by MLPF&S for the notes will be based on then-prevailing market conditions and other considerations, including the remaining term of the notes. However, neither we nor any of our affiliates is obligated to purchase your notes at any price or at any time, and we cannot assure you that we or any of our affiliates will purchase your notes at a price that equals or exceeds the initial estimated value of the notes.
Any price that MLPF&S may pay to repurchase the notes will depend upon then prevailing market conditions and other considerations, as mentioned above, and will include transaction costs. At certain times, this price may be higher than or lower than the initial estimated value of the notes.
STRUCTURING THE NOTES
The notes are our debt securities, the return on which is linked to the performance of the Market Measure. As is the case for all of our debt securities, including our market-linked notes, the economic terms of the notes reflect our actual or perceived creditworthiness at the time of pricing. In addition, because market-linked notes result in increased operational, funding and liability management costs to us, we typically borrow the funds under these notes at a rate that is more favorable to us than the rate that we might pay for a conventional fixed or floating rate debt security. This generally relatively lower internal funding rate, which is reflected in the economic terms of the notes, along with the fees and charges associated with market-linked notes, resulted in the initial estimated value of the notes as of the pricing date being less than their public offering price.
In order to meet our payment obligations on the notes, at the time we issue the notes, we may choose to enter into certain hedging arrangements (which may include call options, put options or other derivatives) with MLPF&S or one of its affiliates. The terms of these hedging arrangements are determined based upon terms provided by MLP&S and its affiliates, and take into account a number of factors, including our creditworthiness, interest rate movements, the volatility of the Market Measure, the tenor of the notes and the hedging arrangements. The economic terms of the notes and their initial estimated value depend in part on the terms of these hedging arrangements.
MLPF&S has advised us that the hedging arrangements will include hedging related charges, reflecting the costs associated with, and our affiliates profit earned from, these hedging arrangements. Since hedging entails risk and may be influenced by unpredictable market forces, actual profits or losses from these hedging transactions may be more or less than this amount.
For further information, see Risk FactorsGeneral Risks Relating to the Notes and Use of Proceeds in this pricing supplement.
VALIDITY OF THE NOTES
In the opinion of McGuireWoods LLP, as counsel to BAC, when the trustee has made an appropriate entry on Schedule 1 to the Master Registered Global Senior Note, dated March 30, 2012 (the Master Note) identifying the notes offered hereby as supplemental obligations thereunder in accordance with the instructions of BAC, and the notes have been delivered against payment therefor as contemplated in this pricing supplement, all in accordance with the provisions of the Senior Indenture, such notes will be legal, valid and binding obligations of BAC, subject to applicable bankruptcy, reorganization, insolvency, moratorium, fraudulent conveyance or other similar laws affecting the rights of creditors now or hereafter in effect, and to equitable principles that may limit the right to specific enforcement of remedies, and further subject to 12 U.S.C. §1818(b)(6)(d) (or any successor statute) and any bank regulatory powers now or hereafter in effect and to the application of principles of public policy. This opinion is given as of the date hereof and is limited to the federal laws of the United States, the laws of the State of New York and the Delaware General Corporation Law (including the statutory provisions, all applicable provisions of the Delaware constitution and reported judicial decisions interpreting the foregoing). In addition, this opinion is subject to the assumption that the trustees certificate of authentication of the Master Note has been manually signed by one of the trustees authorized officers and to customary assumptions about the trustees authorization, execution and delivery of the Senior Indenture, the validity, binding nature and enforceability of the Senior Indenture with respect to the trustee, the legal capacity of natural persons, the genuineness of signatures, the authenticity of all documents submitted to McGuireWoods LLP as originals, the conformity to original documents of all documents submitted to McGuireWoods LLP as photocopies thereof, the authenticity of the originals of such copies and certain factual matters, all as stated in the letter of McGuireWoods LLP dated March 30, 2012, which has been filed as an exhibit to BACs registration statement relating to the notes filed with the SEC on March 30, 2012.
U.S. FEDERAL INCOME TAX SUMMARY
The following summary of the material U.S. federal income tax considerations of the acquisition, ownership, and disposition of the notes is based upon the advice of Morrison & Foerster LLP, our tax counsel. The following discussion supplements, and to the extent inconsistent supersedes, the discussions under U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations in the accompanying prospectus and under U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations in the accompanying prospectus supplement and is not exhaustive of all possible tax considerations. This summary is based upon the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the Code), regulations promulgated under the Code by the U.S. Treasury Department (Treasury) (including proposed and temporary regulations), rulings, current administrative interpretations and official pronouncements of the IRS, and judicial decisions, all as currently in effect and all of which are subject to differing interpretations or to change, possibly with retroactive effect. No assurance can be given that the IRS would not assert, or that a court would not sustain, a position contrary to any of the tax consequences described below. This summary does not include any description of the tax laws of any state or local governments, or of any foreign government, that may be applicable to a particular holder.
This summary is directed solely to U.S. Holders and Non-U.S. Holders that, except as otherwise specifically noted, will purchase the notes upon original issuance and will hold the notes as capital assets within the meaning of Section 1221 of the Code, which generally means property held for investment, and that are not excluded from the discussion under U.S. Federal Income Tax Considerations in the accompanying prospectus.
You should consult your own tax advisor concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences to you of acquiring, owning, and disposing of the notes, as well as any tax consequences arising under the laws of any state, local, foreign, or other tax jurisdiction and the possible effects of changes in U.S. federal or other tax laws.
Although there is no statutory, judicial, or administrative authority directly addressing the characterization of the notes, we intend to treat the notes for all tax purposes as single financial contracts with respect to the Market Measure and under the terms of the notes, we and every investor in the notes agree, in the absence of an administrative determination or judicial ruling to the contrary, to treat the notes in accordance with such characterization. This discussion assumes that the notes constitute single financial contracts with respect to the Market Measure for U.S. federal income tax purposes. If the notes did not constitute single financial contracts, the tax consequences described below would be materially different.
This characterization of the notes is not binding on the IRS or the courts. No statutory, judicial, or administrative authority directly addresses the characterization of the notes or any similar instruments for U.S. federal income tax purposes, and no ruling is being requested from the IRS with respect to their proper characterization and treatment. Due to the absence of authorities on point, significant aspects of the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the notes are not certain, and no assurance can be given that the IRS or any court will agree with the characterization and tax treatment described in this supplement. Accordingly, you are urged to consult your tax advisor regarding all aspects of the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the notes, including possible alternative characterizations.
Unless otherwise stated, the following discussion is based on the characterization described above. The discussion in this section assumes that there is a significant possibility of a significant loss of principal on an investment in the notes.
We will not attempt to ascertain whether the issuer of any component stocks included in the Market Measure would be treated as a passive foreign investment company (PFIC), within the meaning of Section 1297 of the Code, or a United States real property holding corporation, within the meaning of Section 897(c) of the Code. If the issuer of one or more stocks included in the Market Measure were so treated, certain adverse U.S. federal income tax
consequences could possibly apply to a holder of the notes. You should refer to information filed with the SEC by the issuers of the component stocks included in the Market Measure and consult your tax advisor regarding the possible consequences to you, if any, if any issuer of the component stocks included in the Market Measure is or becomes a PFIC or is or becomes a United States real property holding corporation.
Upon receipt of a cash payment at maturity or upon a sale, exchange, or redemption of the notes prior to maturity, a U.S. Holder generally will recognize capital gain or loss equal to the difference between the amount realized and the U.S. Holders tax basis in the notes. A U.S. Holders tax basis in the notes will equal the amount paid by that holder to acquire them. This capital gain or loss generally will be long-term capital gain or loss if the U.S. Holder held the notes for more than one year. The deductibility of capital losses is subject to limitations.
Alternative Tax Treatments. Due to the absence of authorities that directly address the proper tax treatment of the notes, prospective investors are urged to consult their tax advisors regarding all possible alternative tax treatments of an investment in the notes. In particular, the IRS could seek to subject the notes to the Treasury regulations governing contingent payment debt instruments. If the IRS were successful in that regard, the timing and character of income on the notes would be affected significantly. Among other things, a U.S. Holder would be required to accrue original issue discount every year at a comparable yield determined at the time of issuance. In addition, any gain realized by a U.S. Holder at maturity or upon a sale, exchange, or redemption of the notes generally would be treated as ordinary income, and any loss realized at maturity would be treated as ordinary loss to the extent of the U.S. Holders prior accruals of original issue discount, and as capital loss thereafter.
The IRS released Notice 2008-2 (the Notice), which sought comments from the public on the taxation of financial instruments currently taxed as prepaid forward contracts. This Notice addresses instruments such as the notes. According to the Notice, the IRS and Treasury are considering whether a holder of an instrument such as the notes should be required to accrue ordinary income on a current basis, regardless of whether any payments are made prior to maturity. It is not possible to determine what guidance the IRS and Treasury will ultimately issue, if any. Any such future guidance may affect the amount, timing and character of income, gain, or loss in respect of the notes, possibly with retroactive effect.
The IRS and Treasury are also considering additional issues, including whether additional gain or loss from such instruments should be treated as ordinary or capital, whether foreign holders of such instruments should be subject to withholding tax on any deemed income accruals, whether Section 1260 of the Code, concerning certain constructive ownership transactions, generally applies or should generally apply to such instruments, and whether any of these determinations depend on the nature of the underlying asset.
In addition, proposed Treasury regulations require the accrual of income on a current basis for contingent payments made under certain notional principal contracts. The preamble to the regulations states that the wait and see method of accounting does not properly reflect the economic accrual of income on those contracts, and requires current accrual of income for some contracts already in existence. While the proposed regulations do not apply to prepaid forward contracts, the preamble to the proposed regulations expresses the view that similar timing issues exist in the case of prepaid forward contracts. If the IRS or Treasury publishes future guidance requiring current economic accrual for contingent payments on prepaid forward contracts, it is possible that you could be required to accrue income over the term of the notes.
Because of the absence of authority regarding the appropriate tax characterization of the notes, it is also possible that the IRS could seek to characterize the notes in a manner that results in tax consequences that are different from those described above. For example, the IRS could possibly assert that any gain or loss that a holder may recognize at maturity or upon the sale, exchange or redemption of the notes should be treated as ordinary gain or loss.
Because the Market Measure is an index that periodically rebalances, it is possible that the notes could be treated as a series of single financial contracts, each of which matures on the next rebalancing date. If the notes were properly characterized in such a manner, a U.S. Holder would be treated as disposing of the notes on each rebalancing date in return for new notes that mature on the next rebalancing date, and a U.S. Holder would accordingly likely recognize capital gain or loss on each rebalancing date equal to the difference between the holders tax basis in the notes (which would be adjusted to take into account any prior recognition of gain or loss) and the fair market value of the notes on such date.
A Non-U.S. Holder will not be subject to U.S. federal income or withholding tax for amounts paid in respect of the notes provided that the Non-U.S. Holder complies with applicable certification requirements and that the payment is not effectively connected with the conduct by the Non-U.S. Holder of a U.S. trade or business. Notwithstanding the foregoing, gain from the sale, exchange, or redemption of the notes or their settlement at maturity may be subject to U.S. federal income tax if that Non-U.S. Holder is a non-resident alien individual and is present in the U.S. for 183 days or more during the taxable year of the settlement at maturity, sale, exchange, or redemption and certain other conditions are satisfied.
If a Non-U.S. Holder of the notes is engaged in the conduct of a trade or business within the U.S. and if gain realized on the settlement at maturity, or upon sale, exchange, or redemption of the notes, is effectively connected with the conduct of such trade or business (and, if certain tax treaties apply, is attributable to a permanent establishment maintained by the Non-U.S. Holder in the U.S.), the Non-U.S. Holder generally will be subject to U.S. federal income tax on such gain on a net income basis in the same manner as if it were a U.S. Holder. Such Non-U.S. Holders should read the material under the heading U.S. Holders, for a description of the U.S. federal income tax consequences of acquiring, owning, and disposing of the notes. In addition, if such Non-U.S. Holder is a foreign corporation, it may also be subject to a branch profits tax equal to 30% (or such lower rate provided by any applicable tax treaty) of a portion of its earnings and profits for the taxable year that are effectively connected with its conduct of a trade or business in the U.S., subject to certain adjustments.
A dividend equivalent payment is treated as a dividend from sources within the U.S. and such payments generally would be subject to a 30% U.S. withholding tax if paid to a Non-U.S. Holder. Under proposed Treasury regulations, payments (including deemed payments) that are contingent upon or determined by reference to actual or estimated U.S. source dividends with respect to certain equity-linked instruments, whether explicitly stated or implicitly taken into account in computing one or more of the terms of such instruments, may be treated as dividend equivalents. If enacted in their current form, the regulations will impose a withholding tax on payments made on the notes on or after January 1, 2016 that are treated as dividend equivalents. However, the Treasury Department and Internal Revenue Service have announced that they intend to limit this withholding to equity-linked instruments issued on or after the date that is 90 days after the date of publication in the Federal Register of final regulations addressing dividend equivalent withholding. If any payments are treated as dividend equivalents subject to withholding, we would be entitled to withhold taxes without being required to pay any additional amounts with respect to amounts so withheld.
As discussed above, alternative characterizations of the notes for U.S. federal income tax purposes are possible. Should an alternative characterization, by reason of change or clarification of the law, by regulation or otherwise, cause payments as to the notes to become subject to withholding tax, we will withhold tax at the applicable statutory rate. As discussed above, the IRS has indicated in the Notice that it is considering whether income in respect of instruments such as the notes should be subject to withholding tax. Prospective Non-U.S. Holders of the notes should consult their own tax advisors in this regard.
U.S. Federal Estate Tax. Under current law, while the matter is not entirely clear, individual Non-U.S. Holders, and entities whose property is potentially includible in those
individuals gross estates for U.S. federal estate tax purposes (for example, a trust funded by such an individual and with respect to which the individual has retained certain interests or powers), should note that, absent an applicable treaty benefit, a note is likely to be treated as U.S. situs property, subject to U.S. federal estate tax. These individuals and entities should consult their own tax advisors regarding the U.S. federal estate tax consequences of investing in a note.
Backup Withholding and Information Reporting
Please see the discussion under U.S. Federal Income Tax ConsiderationsTaxation of Debt SecuritiesBackup Withholding and Information Reporting in the accompanying prospectus for a description of the applicability of the backup withholding and information reporting rules to payments made on the notes.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act
Withholding and reporting requirements under the legislation enacted on March 18, 2010 (as discussed beginning on page 85 of the prospectus), generally apply to payments made after June 30, 2014. Holders are urged to consult with their own tax advisors regarding the possible implications of this recently enacted legislation on their investment in the notes.
Each fiduciary of a pension, profit-sharing, or other employee benefit plan subject to ERISA (a Plan), should consider the fiduciary standards of ERISA in the context of the Plans particular circumstances before authorizing an investment in the notes. Accordingly, among other factors, the fiduciary should consider whether the investment would satisfy the prudence and diversification requirements of ERISA and would be consistent with the documents and instruments governing the Plan.
In addition, we and certain of our subsidiaries and affiliates, including MLPF&S, may be each considered a party in interest within the meaning of ERISA, or a disqualified person within the meaning of the Code, with respect to many Plans, as well as many individual retirement accounts and Keogh plans (also Plans). Prohibited transactions within the meaning of ERISA or the Code would likely arise, for example, if the notes are acquired by or with the assets of a Plan with respect to which MLPF&S or any of our other affiliates is a party in interest, unless the notes are acquired under an exemption from the prohibited transaction rules. A violation of these prohibited transaction rules could result in an excise tax or other liabilities under ERISA and/or Section 4975 of the Code for such persons, unless exemptive relief is available under an applicable statutory or administrative exemption.
Under ERISA and various PTCEs issued by the U.S. Department of Labor, exemptive relief may be available for direct or indirect prohibited transactions resulting from the purchase, holding, or disposition of the notes. Those exemptions are PTCE 96-23 (for certain transactions determined by in-house asset managers), PTCE 95-60 (for certain transactions involving insurance company general accounts), PTCE 91-38 (for certain transactions involving bank collective investment funds), PTCE 90-1 (for certain transactions involving insurance company separate accounts), PTCE 84-14 (for certain transactions determined by independent qualified asset managers), and the exemption under Section 408(b)(17) of ERISA and Section 4975(d)(20) of the Code for certain arms-length transactions with a person that is a party in interest solely by reason of providing services to Plans or being an affiliate of such a service provider (the Service Provider Exemption).
Because we may be considered a party in interest with respect to many Plans, the notes may not be purchased, held, or disposed of by any Plan, any entity whose underlying assets include plan assets by reason of any Plans investment in the entity (a Plan Asset Entity) or any person investing plan assets of any Plan, unless such purchase, holding, or disposition is eligible for exemptive relief, including relief available under PTCE 96-23, 95-60, 91-38, 90-1, or 84-14 or the Service Provider Exemption, or such purchase, holding, or disposition is otherwise not prohibited. Any purchaser, including any fiduciary purchasing on behalf of a Plan, transferee or holder of the notes will be deemed to have represented, in its corporate and its fiduciary capacity, by its purchase and holding of the notes that either (a) it is not a Plan or a Plan Asset Entity and is not purchasing such notes on behalf of or with plan assets of any Plan or with any assets of a governmental, church, or foreign plan that is subject to any federal, state, local, or foreign law that is substantially similar to the provisions of Section 406 of ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code or (b) its purchase, holding, and disposition are eligible for exemptive relief or such purchase, holding, and disposition are not prohibited by ERISA or Section 4975 of the Code (or in the case of a governmental, church, or foreign plan, any substantially similar federal, state, local, or foreign law).
Further, any person acquiring or holding the notes on behalf of any plan or with any plan assets shall be deemed to represent on behalf of itself and such plan that (x) the plan is paying no more than, and is receiving no less than, adequate consideration within the meaning of Section 408(b)(17) of ERISA in connection with the transaction or any redemption of the notes, (y) none of us, MLPF&S, or any other agents, nor any of our respective affiliates directly or indirectly exercises any discretionary authority or control or renders investment advice (as defined above) or otherwise acts in a fiduciary capacity with respect to the assets of the plan within the meaning of ERISA and (z) in making the foregoing representations and warranties, such person has applied sound business principles in determining whether fair market value will be paid, and has made such determination acting in good faith.
The fiduciary investment considerations summarized above generally apply to employee benefit plans maintained by private-sector employers and to individual retirement accounts and other arrangements subject to Section 4975 of the Code, but generally do not apply to governmental plans (as defined in Section 3(32) of ERISA), certain church plans (as defined in Section 3(33) of ERISA), and foreign plans (as described in Section 4(b)(4) of ERISA). However, these other plans may be subject to similar provisions under applicable federal, state, local, foreign, or other regulations, rules, or laws (similar laws). The fiduciaries of plans subject to similar laws should also consider the foregoing issues in general terms as well as any further issues arising under the applicable similar laws.
In addition, any purchaser, that is a Plan or a Plan Asset Entity or that is acquiring the notes on behalf of a Plan or a Plan Asset Entity, including any fiduciary purchasing on behalf of a Plan or Plan Asset entity, will be deemed to have represented, in its corporate and its fiduciary capacity, by its purchase and holding of the notes that (a) none of us, MLPF&S, or any of our respective affiliates is a fiduciary (under Section 3(21) of ERISA, or under any final or proposed regulations thereunder, or with respect to a governmental, church, or foreign plan under any substantially similar applicable law or regulation) with respect to the acquisition, holding or disposition of the notes, or as a result of any exercise by us or our affiliates of any rights in connection with the notes, (b) no advice provided by us or any of our affiliates has formed a primary basis for any investment decision by or on behalf of such purchaser in connection with the notes and the transactions contemplated with respect to the notes, and (c) such purchaser recognizes and agrees that any communication from us or any of our affiliates to the purchaser with respect to the notes is not intended by us or any of our affiliates to be impartial investment advice and is rendered in its capacity as a seller of such notes and not a fiduciary to such purchaser. Purchasers of the notes have exclusive responsibility for ensuring that their purchase, holding, and disposition of the notes do not violate the prohibited transaction rules of ERISA or the Code or any similar regulations applicable to governmental or church plans, as described above.
This discussion is a general summary of some of the rules which apply to benefit plans and their related investment vehicles. This summary does not include all of the investment considerations relevant to Plans and other benefit plan investors such as governmental, church, and foreign plans and should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Due to the complexity of these rules and the penalties that may be imposed upon persons involved in non-exempt prohibited transactions, it is particularly important that fiduciaries or other persons considering purchasing the notes on behalf of or with plan assets of any Plan or other benefit plan investor consult with their legal counsel prior to directing any such purchase.