The Republican treasurer said it’s the first comprehensive review of state banking contracts in about a decade. Loftis also said his office is reviewing the findings of the first comprehensive agency-wide audit done since 1988.
“Sound business practices will ensure taxpayers are getting the most for their money when it comes to banking and other financial services,” commented Loftis.
Loftis’ announcement comes just over a month after Palmetto Public Record criticized Bank of America’s no-bid state contracts which give the financial giant control of hundreds of millions in state money:
Why did Bank of America get no-bid contracts? Well, in the 2008 and 2010 elections alone, Bank of America gave $89,330 to 90 state legislators and statewide officials — 55 Republicans and 35 Democrats, according to ethics reports. BofA spreads its influence between both political parties, and often donates the maximum amount to opposing candidates. The result is that no matter who wins, when bills come through the State House which affect Bank of America’s bottom line, more than a few state officials end up owing them a favor or two.
The treasurer’s office has not released specifics of which contracts were modified due to the review, so it’s unknown whether any of the BofA contracts we mentioned were among them. Loftis also said several other banking operations in the treasurer’s office have been streamlined.
The news also comes as Loftis is formally cleared by the state attorney general’s office of allegations that the treasurer and a friend operated a pay-for-play scheme surrounding the state’s pension fund. Loftis has stayed relatively scandal-free during his first term in office — unlike many of his fellow Republican office-holders — and has been frequently mentioned as a possible primary challenger for Gov. Nikki Haley in 2014.