| March 9
March 9 Merrill Lynch, a unit of Bank of America
Corp, may not entirely do away with its commission-based
retirement accounts, after Trump ordered the Labor Department
last month to delay the proposed retirement-savings rule.
In a conference call with the advisors on Thursday, the bank
said it plans to shift most of its retirement savers to accounts
that charge a fee based on percentage of assets from those that
charge a commission, according to a source familiar with the
However, Andy Sieg, head of Merrill Lynch Wealth Management,
noted in a memo seen by Reuters that the account conversions may
not apply to all of its customers.
"We've recognized that there may be limited situations in
which a fee-based arrangement would not be in a client's best
interests. We are reviewing those limited circumstances to
consider potential alternatives to IAP for some clients in a
manner consistent with a higher standard of care," Sieg said in
Last month U.S. President Donald Trump ordered the Labor
Department to review the implementation date of the new
fiduciary rule, proposed by Obama, which was set to take effect
The proposed rule was staunchly opposed by the financial
services industry. Wall Street had argued that the rule would
harm consumers as it would raise compliance costs and therefore
fees, and force them to get rid of Main Street clients and small
businesses that offer 401(k) plans.
Merrill Lynch was not immediately available for comment.
The Wall Street Journal had earlier reported that Merrill
Lynch was planning to still offer commission-based retirement
(Reporting by Vishal Sridhar in Bengaluru and Elizabeth Dilts
in New York; Editing by Sunil Nair)