- The Washington Times - Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Bank of America has been fined more than $32 million by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority for ripping off money from retirement accounts and charity plans.

This is the second time the nation’s No. 2 lender has been caught skimming from retirees’ accounts, the New York Post reported. More than $24 million of the $32 million fine will go to pay customers back, bringing the total amount the bank’s paid for its two-time rip-off to $90 million, the newspaper said.

“From at least January 2006 through December 2011, Merrill Lynch disadvantaged tens of thousands of small business retirement plan customers,” the settlement read, the New York Post reported.

Merrill Lynch was acquired by Bank of America in 2009. And after the acquisition, the bank was accused of adding extra mutual-fund charges, called “discrepancies,” for retirement plans from small businesses — even after it learned that doing so was illegal, the New York Post said.

“Investors must be able to trust that their brokerage firm will offer the lowest-cost share classes available to them,” said Brad Bennett, an enforcement official at Finra, in the New York Post.