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CFTC fines Merrill Lynch $1.2 million for client fee errors

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. futures regulator said on Tuesday it had fined a unit of Bank of America Corp $1.2 million for failures to supervise the processing of fees charged to its customers over a period of three years.

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) said it had simultaneously settled charges against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc., a New York firm that trades futures and swaps on behalf of clients.

The unit had accrued a total of more than $450,000 in excess fees from 196 clients, or 0.14 percent of all the fees it had paid to exchanges in the period from at least Jan. 1, 2010 to April 2013, the CFTC said.

It also found that the unit had not hired qualified personnel to oversee fees, did not provide complete procedures manuals to staff until at least April 2013, and did not provide meaningful training to employees.

The bank neither admitted nor denied the findings in the Order.

(Reporting by Douwe Miedema; Editing by Sandra Maler)

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