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So, will it take away business from Merrill advisors? “Merrill Edge” is Bank of America’s version of free online trading.

I read with interest and an open mind, RegisteredRep.com’s June 1, 2010 article by John Byrme, “Bank of America Ramps up Online Brokerage.”

This new venue is a target for investors who have accounts with $250,000 or less. (There appears to be a trend in the industry to embrace the self-directed investor concept) A lot of the Bank of America brokers who are now part of Merrill Lynch feel they will get the “short end” of the deal.

Why? Because the BofA brokers have a larger client list (some over 1,000) to service and they’re feeling some pressure to funnel some of these accounts over to the free online program—part of BofA pushing their mass marketing and servicing approach.

Compare with the Merrill brokers who typically service one or two hundred accounts and are restricted to the $1 million-plus accounts.

My thoughts are it’s going to create some hard feelings and a surge in breakaways as the Merrill Edge rolls out the end of the month…