Bank of America just recently announced this news, and coincidentally, Countrywide Bank's CD rates just had a large decline. According to Bank of America's press release:
Bank of America Corporation today announced a definitive agreement to purchase Countrywide Financial Corp. in an all-stock transaction worth approximately $4 billion.
I don't know what the short term implications are to Countrywide Bank depositors. In the press release it states that "Bank of America plans to operate Countrywide separately under the Countrywide brand with integration occurring no sooner than 2009." Also it states that the purchase is expected to close in the third quarter. CNN has more on this news story.
Since the purchase isn't expected to close until the third quarter, it seems unlikely that Countrywide Bank cusomters will see too many changes in the short term. This should help ease concerns of depositors of having their money in a bank that is on the verge of going under. So Countrywide may not feel the need to keep rates as high as they have.
The latest rate change was likely unrelated to the current news. I found this quote in this yesterday's LA Times article:
Pierre Habis, head of retail deposits at Countrywide Bank, said it had continued to attract new deposits this week despite the latest bankruptcy rumors.
The cash inflows have so greatly exceeded expectations, he said, that the bank planned to begin trimming its CD rates in the next week.
If Countrywide lowers CD rates, that could help damp concerns that the company is facing a funding crisis.
Countrywide's 3 and 6-month CD yields declined today from 5.45% to 5.25% APY.