Former Merrill Lynch broker Thomas J. Buck has been named in several complaints, already costing the company over $4.1 million in settlements. Many of the complaints allege that Mr. Buck steered clients toward commission-based accounts versus lower cost fee-based accounts. Highly active accounts quickly racked up charges. Although the settlement amounts seem high, they were likely less than what the clients were overcharged. “Almost invariably, the amount of wrongdoing exceeds the amount of the [settlements],” said Hugh Berkson, president of Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association. Mr. Berkson then explained the benefits and drawbacks of both commission and fee-based accounts.
Thomas J. Buck has cost former employer Merrill Lynch over 4.1 million dollars in settlements, with two cases still undecided. He is accused of steering clients to commission vs. fee accounts, increasing the cost to his clients. Hugh Berkson explained that the damage awards probably didn’t cover the actual amount lost by the investors.