Merrill Lynch Fined $1.5 Million for Charging Unnecessary Fees to Over 1,300 Customers

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Updated on: July 3, 2024

Did You Pay Unnecessary Fees at Merrill Lynch? Contact The Law Firm of KlaymanToskes Immediately

National investment loss lawyers KlaymanToskes reports the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has censured Merrill Lynch and ordered the brokerage firm to pay nearly $1.49 million, plus interest, in restitution to 1,361 customers who were charged unnecessary and avoidable fees by their financial advisors.

According to FINRA’s investigation into Merrill and its advisors’ practices, from January 2018 through June 2022 Merrill Lynch’s brokers allegedly circumvented the firm’s policy of waiving advisory fees for 12 months on certain new-issue products when purchased in advisory accounts. Instead, the brokers recommended that their customers initially buy these products in their brokerage accounts, and then promptly transfer them to advisory accounts, thereby incurring avoidable fees.

FINRA found that Merrill Lynch lacked adequate supervisory systems to detect these inappropriate transfers and ensure that brokers’ recommendations were in the best interest of their clients. This failure violated the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Regulation Best Interest and FINRA’s Rules 3110 and 2010, which require firms to maintain high standards and reasonable supervisory systems.

If you suffered losses due to unnecessary fees or unsuitable investment recommendations at Merrill Lynch, and/or have concerns regarding your investment portfolio, contact KlaymanToskes at 888-997-9956 or fill out a short contact form for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your recovery options.

Did You Suffer Losses at Merrill Lynch?

Did You Suffer Losses at Merrill Lynch?

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Understanding Your Rights: Supervision and Responsibility of Brokerage Firms and Advisors

According to FINRA, brokerage firms such as Merrill Lynch are responsible for the supervision of all of the activities of their registered financial advisors. Investors may be entitled to a financial recovery if their firm failed to supervise the representative managing their account, and/or if their financial advisor made unsuitable investment recommendations.

Brokers/investment advisors and their firms are responsible for providing suitable investment advice and must act in the best interest of their customers. Further, Investment firms may be held liable for any losses incurred by their customers in the event of fraudulent or unsuitable investment recommendations, misrepresentations or omissions of material facts, and/or an overconcentration of the customer’s portfolio in one particular investment, class, or market sector. Further, potential conflicts of interest may arise when issuers incentivize brokers/investment advisors with substantial commissions to promote their financial products. 

If you have been charged unnecessary fees by Merrill Lynch, or have suffered losses due to unsuitable investment recommendations, contact KlaymanToskes at (888) 997-9956 or investigations@klaymantoskes.com for a free and confidential consultation. We do not collect attorney’s fees unless we are able to obtain a financial recovery for you.

About KlaymanToskes

KlaymanToskes is a leading national securities law firm which practices exclusively in the field of securities arbitration and litigation on behalf of retail and institutional investors throughout the world in large and complex securities matters. The firm has recovered over $250 million in FINRA arbitrations and over $350 million in other securities litigation matters. KlaymanToskes has office locations in California, Florida, New York, and Puerto Rico.


KlaymanToskes, P.A.
Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq.