B of A Changes Fees for Some Merrill Customers

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Bank of America Corp. said Tuesday it is changing the way it charges some wealth-management customers who do not have financial advisers.

The bank now charges a flat fee of $6.95 per trade for all stock and exchange-traded-fund made using its Merrill Edge self-directed investing program. Self-directed customers make changes to their investments without working with a financial advisor.

Merrill Edge previously charged different fees depending on how many trades customers made per quarter, and how many assets they have across all of their Bank of America accounts.

The new price is a $2 increase for future customers who have more than $1 million in balances with B of A and more than 60 trades per quarter. (Current customers that fall into this category will continue to pay $4.95 per trade.) It is also a $2 decrease for customers with less than $250,000 in balances and fewer than 30 trades per quarter. Bank of America said it made the change to simplify the pricing for its customers. The bank also eliminated account minimums and maintenance fees for self-directed accounts.

B of A also said that it has launched a streaming trading platform called Merrill Edge Market Pro that gives clients access to integrated trading, account information, streaming market data and proprietary research.

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