Liberal activists on the Hartford City Council have managed to block a long-term extension of the city's contract with Bank of America, but that doesn't mean Connecticut's biggest banking operator is losing Hartford as a client.

Mayor Pedro E. Segarra's administration has dropped its effort to win approval for a three-year contract extension for B of A, which had won a competitive bidding process, citing delays in council approval.

The contract deal had been opposed by Working Families Party members of the council who blasted Bank of America for what they called its mishandling and malfeasance of mortgage loans and other issues relating to the Great Recession.

"We sent a message to Bank of America and other corporate offenders that the people of Hartford will not stand for or reward corporate malpractice," said Larry Deutsch, a WFP member and minority leader on the council.

Except that message may not mean very much. City officials told the Hartford Courant that they expected to continue to give B of A the city's banking business on one-year contract extensions that don't need city council approval.