BofA Edges ahead with online broker

Marion Dakers
BANK of America Merrill Lynch is set to launch an online discount brokerage service aimed at smaller investors next week, the banking group announced yesterday.

Merrill Edge will be aimed at clients with $250,000 (£168,751) or less to invest, placing the service in direct competition with other online discount brokers like Charles Schwab, Ameritrade and E*Trade.

Around half a million Bank of America online brokerage clients will be transferred to the new service over the summer.

The platform will offer clients the choice of a self-directed account or one with more access to professional advice, in an attempt to coax less experienced investors into signing up with the banking giant.