Not only did Merrill Lynch apparently have a black hole on its balance sheet in Q4, as witnessed by its stunning $15 billion loss, but the actual day to day business deteriorated rapidly. According to a filing, clients pulled $10 billion out of the bank, up from $3 billion the quarter before.
Some of the drop may be due to a loss of confidence, though there’s also a more benign explanation (in a way)
Bloomberg: The drop in client assets is in part the result of advisers leaving and taking their customers with them, said Adam Honore, an analyst at Aite Group LLC, a Boston-based consulting firm.
“It’s fairly substantial,” he said. Clients were concerned with the “stability of the firm and falling under the Bank of America umbrella,” he said.
Total client assets are still at $1.25 trillion.