Bank of America and Countrywide Financial said Thursday that Countrywide president and COO David Sambol will lead the combined consumer mortgage business once BofA’s planned purchase of Countrywide is complete. Sambol will continue in his current role, reporting to Countrywide chairman and CEO Angelo Mozilo until completion of the transaction, which is targeted for the third quarter. Mozilo is largely expected to step down after the merger. Sambol will report to Bruce Hammonds, named to the newly-created post of Global Consumer Credit Executive; Hammonds was previously in charge of BofA’s card services business. The new consumer credit division within Bank of America will comprise mortgages, credit card and unsecured lending, Bank of America said in a press statement. While BofA CEO Kenneth Lewis indicated that the merger would go ahead as planned after Countrywide reported a fourth quarter loss of $422 million earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday that a hedge fund owning 5.2 percent of Countrywide is already protesting the deal. The fund, SRM Global Master Fund LP, said that the merger agreement undervalues the nation’s largest lender and that it might look to block the deal or find alternate bidders for the business.

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