BofA Set To Jack Up Fees For Thousands Of Brokerage Account Holders

Merrill Lynch

If your money is managed by Bank of America’s brokerage arm, get ready to pay more for the service.

BofA plans to jack up fees for thousands of Merrill Lynch customers as part of a $100 million “platform overhaul … designed to make it easier for advisers to manage their clients’ accounts and build portfolios,” the Wall Street Journal’s Corrie Driebousch reports.

With the new platform, unofficially called Merrill Lynch One, customers will be charged minimum fees based on the size of their investment. The move comes as big brokerage firms struggle to make up for lost assets during the recession.  Advisors have until 2015 to adopt the new pay scale, and some investors could see their fees increase by up to 50%.

Despite the company’s intention to make advisors’ lives easier, Merrill Lynch’s 14,000-strong fleet isn’t all that thrilled.

They say the fee structure will only limit their pricing flexibility (for example, giving a good customer a discount) and could drive some customers away. But a spokesperson says the rates will be negotiable. 

Read about what to expect from the new fee structures over at the Journal >

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