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BAML To Launch New Online Brokerage Service

Bank of America Merrill Lynch (BAML) plans to launch a new online brokerage service aimed at less affluent, young and new investors on June 21, 2010.

BAML said that the service will be called Merrill Edge and it intends to engage with clients with $250,000 or less in investable assets. It will compete with other online discount brokerages like TD Ameritrade and E Trade Financial.

Trades through Merrill Edge is expected to cost $8.95 each. BAML is planning to offer customers with at least $25,000 in an account 30 free online equity trades per month.

Approximately 500,000 customers who use BAML’s existing online brokerage services are expected be transferred to Merrill Edge in the near future. The service will allow linked access to banking, credit, retirement and investment products.

In 2009, when Bank of America acquired Merrill Lynch, it ended up having two online brokerage businesses: its own Quick & Reilly and Merrill Lynch’s internet and call-center platform. The new Merrill Edge combines the two businesses under a new platform.