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Merrill Lynch Fined For Overcharging Customers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) announced that it has fined Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. (“Merrill Lynch”) $2.8 million. The fine relates to allegations that Merrill Lynch overcharged its customers approximately $32 million in incorrect fees and failed to provide required trade notices. In connection with the allegations, Merrill Lynch has since repaid the affected customers $32 million, plus interest.

According to FINRA, from April 2003 to December 2011, certain Merrill Lynch investment advisory program customers were not billed in accordance with contract and disclosure documents. Pursuant to FINRA, this allegedly occurred because Merrill Lynch did not have an adequate supervisory system in place. FINRA claims that approximately 95,000 Merrill Lynch customers were charged more than $32 million in incorrect fees.

In addition, FINRA claimed that, from July 2006 to November 2010, Merrill Lynch failed to provide timely trade confirmations for over 10.6 million trades in over 230,000 accounts and failed to properly disclose whether it acted as agent or principal for over 7.5 million mutual fund transactions.

The Florida securities lawyers at McCabe Rabin, P.A. represent investors nationwide in FINRA arbitration matters. Investors nationwide who have incurred recoverable investment losses due to specific failures by stockbrokers and brokerage firms, and who may have a FINRA arbitration claim, may contact the Florida securities lawyers at McCabe Rabin, P.A. for a free and confidential consultation by calling toll free at 877.915.4040 or by e-mail to kelly@mccaberabin.com.

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