ETF Fee Wars Wage on With BofA/Merrill Edge Launch

Includes: AMTD, BAC, SCHW
by: Tom Lydon

As the ETF business grows and grows, the pricing competition follows accordingly. This time, it’s Merrill Lynch stepping up to the plate with lower commissions with its new online brokerage system.

BofA (NYSE:BAC)/Merrill Lynch is going to offer a new online brokerage system called Merrill Edge, which will have the added appeal of lower fees. Neil Anderson for Mutual Fund Wire reports that it will target investors with less than $250,000 in assets under management and will offer trades that cost up to $8.95.

The provider is up against competition with the likes of Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW), Fidelity and TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD). Merrill Edge may help build loyalty with younger investors who may not feel a need yet for the services of a professional. They also are more technically savvy and are seeking more transparency and control, according to The Wall Street Journal.

This summer, the new platform will transfer about 500,000 existing online brokerage customers from Bank of America to the new Merrill program.

Tisha Guerrero contributed to this article.

Disclosure: None