UPDATE: Bank of America Says Access to Merrill Accounts Has Been Restored
Bank of America’s wealth management platform stumbled on Tuesday as advisors and self-directed investors were snarled by technology outages for about four hours.
A bank spokesman said around 1:30 Eastern Time that access to accounts had been restored.
“@MerrillEdge fix your platform! This is ridiculous,” Twitter user @gadawg80 wrote. “Why can you not have the resources to keep your platform working in not even volatile market conditions.”
Several other customers posted screenshots that said Edge access was down due to “scheduled maintenance.”
“Our app is temporarily unavailable,” read another screenshot. “Your relationship is important to us, and we’re working to restore service as quickly as possible. Your data and transactions remain safe.”
Mark Pipitone, a Bank of America spokesman, declined to comment on what caused the technology problems or whether clients would be reimbursed.
A range of brokerage firms throughout the work-from-home constraints of the pandemic have periodically experienced temporary outages, primarily on volatile days that generate high trading volume.
Merrill advisors were unable to transfer funds or enter notes in client accounts for two hours on an exceptionally active trading day in September that also affected Edge customer account access. The S&P 500 that day fell 3.5%, the tech-focused Nasdaq was down 5% and the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled more than 800 points, or 2.8%.
Volume and market direction on Tuesday was less active, although the Dow Jones Industrial Average was nearing a milestone benchmark of 30,000 when the outage began.
“@MerrillEdge it’s so nice Dow hits 30k and I can’t make a trade,” user @jeffabro tweeted.
Merrill Edge clients lost access in March to accounts for about 20 minutes. Merrill brokers on April 21 were unable to see customer accounts and directly input trade orders because of what the firm characterized as an internet service provider issue.
Merrill in June said an enhanced broker workstation called Client Engagement Works would be in place this month to create more efficiencies for all of its 22,000 advisors, private bankers and client associates.
Morgan Stanley brokers and customers lost access to order-entry and trading systems on March 25 for more than four hours as a result of a problem the firm attributed to IBM software. It reimbursed clients whose brokers documented missed transactions that disadvantaged the clients.
Wealth management clients at JP Morgan Chase lost access to an electronic trading platform as markets were sinking on March 12.
Self-directed customers of discount brokers Charles Schwab Corp., Robinhood Markets, Vanguard, TD Ameritrade and Fidelity Investments temporarily lost access to their online accounts in September.
Plaintiffs’ lawyers have filed several putative class action suits against Robinhood over a systemwide crash that prevented customers from trading amid volatile market action in early March.