Bank of America agrees to pay ex-Merrill Lynch brokers $12.8 million

Former Merrill Lynch advisers who were fired after Bank of America merged with the brokerage in 2008 won back some of the deferred compensation on which they had missed out, according to a settlement filed this week in a North Carolina district court.

Bank of America agreed to pay $12.8 million to settle claims made by more than 270 former employees that the bank failed to follow proper procedures after terminating them. The ex-employees held that the procedures would have allowed them to argue they deserved to leave the firm with some of their deferred compensation that was not yet paid out.

Many Wall Street brokerages offer bonuses and other compensation in the form of deferred cash, seeing it as a way to delay immediate payouts and to lock in employees who might be tempted to jump to rival firms.

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