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Merrill Lynch Penalized $11.6 Million For Improper UIT Rollovers

Merrill Lynch Penalized $11.6 Million For Improper UIT Rollovers

The transactions forced clients to pay millions of dollars in needless fees, according to FINRA.
 
A UIT is an investment company that offers investors shares, or “units,” in a fixed portfolio of securities in a one-time public offering that terminates on a specific maturity date, often after 15 or 24 months. As a result, UITs are generally intended as long-term investments and have sales charges based on their long-term nature, including an initial and deferred sales charge and a creation and development fee. A registered representative who recommends that a customer sell his or her UIT position before the maturity date and then “rolls over” those funds into a new UIT causes the customer to incur increased sales charges over time, raising suitability concerns.