Stoltmann Law Offices Files FINRA Arbitration Claim Against Merrill Lynch for Client Investment Losses

CHICAGO, March 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stoltmann Law Offices announces it has filed a FINRA arbitration claim on behalf of an Illinois investor against Merrill Lynch. The claim relates to an investment in the Bank of America Strategic Return Notes. The structured product lost over 50% of its value in approximately one year.

According to the Statement of Claim, some Merrill Lynch financial advisors used the 2008-2009 financial crisis as a scare tactic to move customers out of the stock market and into high commission, illiquid, alternative investments like the Bank of America Strategic Return Notes, which would purportedly hedge against the market. As pitched, the value of the Notes would increase when the markets were volatile and decrease in value if the markets were less volatile. In some instances, Merrill brokers failed to explain that the relationship between the Strategic Return Notes, the Index and the S&P 500 was much more complex than just this simplistic, misleading negative correlation sales pitch.

According to Chicago securities attorney Andrew Stoltmann: "As the Selling Agent and Securities Calculation Agent for the Bank of America Strategic Return Notes, Merrill Lynch owed its customers a duty to perform adequate due diligence into these notes and not sell defective or 'broken' investments. Merrill Lynch needed to determine all operating expenses and how the investment would react to different market conditions prior to soliciting investors so that the Notes would not fail because they were too 'expensive' or the market moved too dramatically."

According to Stoltmann: "It also owed customers a duty to perform due diligence on these notes to ensure the investment would work as represented. It is alleged in the FINRA arbitration lawsuit that Merrill Lynch determined these notes were 'broken' just months after the initial offering period. We believe had Merrill Lynch performed its duties, it would have discovered these problems prior to selling the Strategic Return Notes to other investors, rather than peddling their high commissioned product to unsuspecting investors. Other victims of this investment are encouraged to contact our law firm to see if the investment losses can be recovered on a contingency fee basis. We are not naming Merrill Lynch financial advisors in our Statement of Claims because we believe the advisors were misled by the firm with respect to the terms of investments which thereby caused them to mislead their clients."

CONTACT: Andrew Stoltmann Esq. o: 312-332-4200 10 S. LaSalle, 35th Floor Chicago, IL 60603 www.InvestmentFraud.PROSource:Stoltmann Law Offices P.C.