Bank of America to Open 600 More Merrill Edge Investment Centers

Expands Merrill Edge Reach to 2,800 Financial Centers by 2020

Thursday, March 29, 2018 9:00 am EDT

Bank of America announced today that Merrill Edge® will open 600 new investment centers within its expanding coast-to-coast financial center footprint, bringing its total to 2,800 by 2020. The effort is part of Bank of America’s previously mentioned plan to invest heavily in both its physical and digital presence across the United States, entering new markets and redesigning more than a third of its existing financial centers. To meet growing client demand for investment services, Merrill Edge also expects to add 300 new Financial Solutions Advisors™ for a total of 4,000 representatives by year-end.

The 600 new Merrill Edge investment centers will be added to new and existing Bank of America financial center locations. Merrill Edge investment centers will be built within new financial centers opening in Cleveland; Cincinnati; Columbus; Indianapolis; Lexington, KY; Pittsburgh; and Salt Lake City. Merrill Edge investment centers will also be added to existing financial center locations in Chicago; Houston; Kansas City, Kan.; Los Angeles; Miami; Minneapolis; New York; Philadelphia; San Francisco; and San Jose. Bank of America currently has 4,500 financial centers across the United States, including 2,200 with dedicated, on-site Merrill Edge Financial Solutions Advisors and another 770 through video conferencing.

Merrill Edge is a streamlined financial platform that offers access to online and advised investing, trading, brokerage and banking services. Clients can be self-directed; work with a Financial Solutions Advisor; or access Merrill Edge Guided Investing, an online advisory program that offers Global Wealth & Investment Management CIO-directed portfolio management strategies. Since its creation in 2010, Merrill Edge has grown steadily to $184.5 billion in assets and more than 2.4 million accounts. Merrill Edge also works with Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust to support clients’ needs as they become more complex – giving clients access to our full wealth management offering.

“Our goal is to serve our clients in ways most convenient to them, and we have both the brick and mortar and the digital presence to do just that,” said Aron Levine, head of Merrill Edge at Bank of America. “Our clients have asked for seamless integration of their Bank of America banking and Merrill Edge investing, and appreciate being recognized and rewarded for their relationship. We continue to listen and deliver, enabling us to grow responsibly and meet our clients’ evolving needs.”

Continued tech innovations and new capabilities for clients
Merrill Edge continues to create new solutions to help clients pursue their investing goals. One example is the launch of Merrill Edge Guided Investing1 last year, an online investing service that provides access to investment strategies managed by the Merrill Lynch and U.S. Trust Chief Investment Office. Client behavior suggests that Merrill Edge Guided Investing is instrumental to retirement planning. Three-quarters of accounts that have been opened by our clients are focused on retirement goals, with most (80 percent) set for a time horizon of 10 or more years.

Most recently, Merrill Edge launched two new patent-pending experiences for the self-directed investor, helping them make more informed investing decisions. Stock Story helps clients discover critical information about companies in a new and innovative way without having to know all the investing jargon. Portfolio Story provides step-by-step guidance to key elements of their account, helping clients quickly find answers to their most critical questions.

Additional capabilities to advance the client experience and help clients meet their financial goals include:

Integrated capabilities across banking and investments

  • Ability to view one’s entire financial picture on a single page, including Merrill Edge investing accounts, Bank of America banking accounts and other accounts, such as 401(k)s held at other financial institutions.
  • Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program recognizes and rewards clients for their relationships across deposits, investments and loans.
  • Trade stocks, ETFs, mutual funds and options online or with the Merrill Edge mobile app.
  • Transfer money in real time2 from Bank of America banking accounts with instant access to place trades.
  • Access to thousands of the most highly requested index and low-cost funds.
  • Access to fixed income portfolios, ladder bonds, treasuries and CDs designed to provide a steady income flow.

Industry-recognized research, insights and tools

  • Stay on top of the markets with real-time Briefing.com updates throughout the trading day, along with access to over 30 independent news providers.
  • Easy access to tools and research for the self-directed investor to explore ETFs, mutual funds, equities and other investments with no minimums and no maintenance fees.
  • Access to industry-leading BofA Merrill Lynch Global Research, CFRA and Morningstar research.
  • Learn more about investing with the Merrill Edge Investing Classroom, a series of courses that range from basic to more sophisticated strategies.
  • Understand your investing impact3 with access to environmental, social and governance scores for individual stocks and your portfolio.

Industry recognition, awards and accolades
In the last year, Merrill Edge received many industry accolades and reviews, recognizing its excellence in client experience and innovative tools and resources.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized by these prestigious organizations,” said Dean Athanasia, co-head of Consumer & Small Business at Bank of America. “These awards demonstrate our commitment and our success in helping clients pursue their financial and life goals and showcase our best-in-class approach to the industry.”

Notable awards and recognition include:

  • Barron’s 2018 Best Online Broker Survey 4 (March 2018) – Merrill Edge earned 4 out of 5 stars and was named one of the top online brokers.
  • Customer Service Institute of America 5 (March 2018) – Merrill Edge has been awarded the 2017 International Service Excellence Award in the category of customer-focused innovations.
  • Stockbrokers.com’s eighth annual Online Broker Review 6 (Feb. 2018) – Merrill Edge was awarded 4.5 out of 5 stars, and received a No. 1 ranking for overall client experience and a No. 1 ranking for new tool for its new stock research experience.
  • Corporate Insight’s 2017 e-Monitor Awards Report 7 (Jan. 2018) – Merrill Edge earned the top spot in the equity research and quotes category due to its new stock research experience. Merrill Edge also earned the most medals of any firm.
  • NerdWallet 8 (Jan. 2018) – Merrill Edge was named one of the “best online brokers for stock trading in 2018.”
  • J.D. Power 9 (Nov. 2017) – Merrill Edge’s contact centers were recognized for providing “an outstanding customer service experience” in the live phone channel for the seventh consecutive year.
  • Kiplinger’s Personal Finance Magazine 10 (Oct. 2017) – Merrill Edge was named the top online broker in a tie with Fidelity.

To learn more about Merrill Edge and these updates, visit www.merrilledge.com.

1 Please review the Merrill Edge® Guided Investing Program Brochure at www.merrilledge.com/guided-investing-program-brochure for important information including pricing, rebalancing, and the details of the investment advisory program.

2 Certain banking and brokerage accounts may be ineligible for real-time money movement, including but not limited to transfers to/from bank IRAs (CD, money market), 529s, SafeBalance Banking®, credit cards and transfers from IRAs, loans (HELOC, LOC, mortgage) and accounts held in the military bank. Accounts eligible for real-time transfers will be displayed online in the to/from drop-down menu on the transfer screen.

3 Impact investing and/or environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing has certain risks based on the fact that ESG criteria exclude securities of certain issuers for nonfinancial reasons and therefore, investors may forgo some market opportunities and the universe of investments available will be smaller. ESG ratings are provided by MSCI ESG Research LLC, an independent provider of research-driven insights and a Registered Investment Advisor under the Investment Advisors Act of 1940, that provides in-depth analysis on the ESG-related business practices of more than 6,000 companies.

4 Merrill Edge® was one of 19 brokers evaluated in the Barron’s 2018 Best Online Broker Survey, March 26, 2018. Barron’s evaluated firms in Trading Experience & Technology, Usability, Mobile, Range of Offerings, Research Amenities, Portfolio Analysis & Reports, Customer Service, Education, Security, and Costs to rate the firms. Merrill Edge earned the top overall score of 32.7 out of a possible 40. Learn more at http://webreprints.djreprints.com/54692.html . Barron’s is a trademark of Dow Jones & Co., L.P. All rights reserved. Reprinted with permission of Barron’s. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome.

5 Merrill Edge® was named the “winner” in the Customer-Focused Innovations category by the Customer Service Institute of America for 2017. The judging criteria are based on an on-site interview; the balanced scorecard methodology; and review of the organization to determine if the customer is the focus of the business and how that is supported through culture, processes, procedures, training, hiring practices, and daily actions. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome.

6 Merrill Edge® was evaluated as one of 13 online brokers in the 2018 StockBrokers.com Online Broker Review published on February 20, 2018. StockBrokers.com evaluated brokers using 292 variables across 10 categories. The best-in-class rating recognizes brokers who ranked in the top five in that category. Learn more at http://www.stockbrokers.com/review/merrilledge. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome.

7 Merrill Edge® earned the top spot in the equity research & quotes category of the 2017 e-Monitor’s Awards Report 2017 in part due to its stock story capability. In its analysis, e-Monitor reviewed the offerings and capabilities for the 18 firms in the e-Monitor coverage group, divided into six distinct categories: core product offerings, account information & performance reporting, equity research & quotes, planning tools, alerts, and mobile capabilities. Each category included a distinct set of attributes and criteria used to grade and rank firms. Based on this review, they awarded gold, silver or bronze medals to those firms that excel. More information on this award can be found at http://corporateinsight.com/e-monitor-reports/december-2017-2017-e-monitor-awards. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome.

8 Merrill Edge® was named by NerdWallet as one of the “best online brokers for stock trading” in January 2018. To be included, approximately 20 online trading firms were extensively reviewed by NerdWallet in a range of categories including but not limited to: fees, available investments, customer support, and mobile apps. Learn more at https://www.nerdwallet.com/blog/investing/best-online-brokers-for-stock-trading. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome.

9 J.D. Power 2017 Certified Contact Center ProgramSM recognition is based on successful completion of an audit and exceeding a customer satisfaction benchmark through a survey of recent servicing interactions. For more information, visit www.jdpower.com/ccc.

10 Merrill Edge® was ranked No. 1 overall (tied with Fidelity) out of seven online brokers by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance’s Best Online Brokers Survey, October 2017. To be included, firms had to offer online trading of stocks, ETFs, funds and individual bonds. The results were based on ratings in the following categories: Total Commissions Score, Breadth of Investment Choices, Tools, Research, Ease of Use, Mobile Access, and Advisory Services. Learn more at http://www.kiplinger.com/slideshow/investing/T023-S002-best-online-brokers-2017/index.html from Kiplinger's Personal Finance, October 2017. © 2017 The Kiplinger Washington Editors. Used under License. The ranking or ratings shown here may not be representative of all client experiences because they reflect an average or sampling of the client experiences. These rankings or ratings are not indicative of any future performance or investment outcome.

Merrill Edge®
Merrill Edge® is a streamlined financial platform that offers access to online and advised investing, trading, brokerage and Bank of America banking services. Clients can be self-directed; work with a Financial Solutions Advisor™ to use managed portfolios; or access Merrill Edge Guided Investing, an online advisory program that offers Global Wealth & Investment Management Chief Investment Office-directed portfolio management strategies.

Bank of America
Bank of America is one of the world's leading financial institutions, serving individual consumers, small and middle-market businesses and large corporations with a full range of banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. The company provides unmatched convenience in the United States, serving approximately 47 million consumer and small business relationships with approximately 4,500 retail financial centers, approximately 16,000 ATMs, and award-winning digital banking with approximately 35 million active users, including approximately 24 million mobile users. Bank of America is a global leader in wealth management, corporate and investment banking and trading across a broad range of asset classes, serving corporations, governments, institutions and individuals around the world. Bank of America offers industry-leading support to approximately 3 million small business owners through a suite of innovative, easy-to-use online products and services. The company serves clients through operations in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and more than 35 countries. Bank of America Corporation stock (NYSE: BAC) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.

For more Bank of America news, including dividend announcements and other important information, visit the Bank of America newsroom. Click here to register for news email alerts.

www.bankofamerica.com

Banking products are provided by Bank of America, N.A., and affiliated banks, Members FDIC and wholly owned subsidiaries of Bank of America Corporation.

Merrill Edge investment advisory programs are offered by Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (MLPF&S). Merrill Edge is available through MLPF&S, and consists of the Merrill Edge Advisory Center (investment guidance) and self-directed online investing.

MLPF&S and Managed Account Advisors LLC (MAA) are registered investment advisers. Investment adviser registration does not imply a certain level of skill or training.

Trust and fiduciary services are provided by U.S. Trust, a division of Bank of America, N.A., Member FDIC.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch is a marketing name for the Retirement Services businesses of Bank of America Corporation.

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