SECURITY Pacific Asian Bank (SPAB) will be renamed Bank of America (Asia) to better reflect its status since its takeover by the US banking giant in April last year. The name change came as the 18-branch local bank yesterday announced net earnings of $367 million for last year, down six per cent from 1991. Bank of America group executive vice-president John Rindlaub attributed the profit drop to the merger between Bank of America and Security Pacific Corp. He said the expenses incurred in the merger, which made Bank of America the second biggest US bank, dragged down the earnings of SPAB. The company said earnings would have shown a seven per cent rise after eliminating non-recurring merger-related expenses and the relocation of SPAB's headquarters to Nine Queen's Road, Central. Return on assets was unchanged at two per cent, and return on equity was 20.16 per cent. Mr Rindlaub said: ''We're changing SPAB's name to ensure the market recognises this company as a Bank of America unit. ''Given Bank of America's solid reputation and strong financial position, the name change should also help SPAB's marketing activities.'' He said the name change had also removed market speculation that SPAB was up for sale.