Merrill Lynch Shakes up Fee Schedule

Merrill Lynch’s wealth management biz has become the crown jewel for Bank of America recently. Its results have shone brightly in the last few earnings reports in terms of both profits and growth.

So of course, it’s time to screw around with it.

The Wall Street Journal’s Corrie Dreibusch:

Bank of America Corp. BAC +2.19% plans to raise fees for thousands of customers at its Merrill Lynch brokerage arm as part of an overhaul of the way it charges for its account-management services.

Some customers with so-called managed accounts at Merrill—or those accounts that command a flat fee—may end up paying as much as 50% a year more to have their money managed, according to a new rate schedule distributed to Merrill advisers and obtained by The Wall Street Journal.

The planned fee changes have upset some of Merrill’s 14,000-plus advisers—known as the “thundering herd”—who are concerned that higher costs may drive clients away and reduce their ability to charge less to their best customers.

“It takes away all the pricing flexibility we had before,” said one Merrill adviser in the mid-Atlantic region.

Because it’s not hard enough for a advisor to justify his or her fees these days as it is.


BofA to Revamp Merrill Fees (WSJ)


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