Merrill Lynch settles with securities division

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Merrill Lynch agreed to stop using unlicensed brokers to sell securities in Colorado and to establish a trade monitoring system that makes sure its salespeople are licensed in the state.

The agreement is part of a settlement between the brokerage firm and the Colorado Division of Securities, after the division claimed the firm allowed their client associates to sell securities without being properly licensed.

The settlement ended an investigation led by securities regulations into allegations that the company allowed its client associates to accept trade orders from clients, a practice that requires licensing of the client associates’ home state and in the client’s state. The division found that Merrill Lynch’s supervisory system was not designed to check clients’ licenses.

Colorado’s investigation was held in tandem with regulators from Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Vermont, New Hampshire and Delaware.

Colorado is continuing its investigation into similar misconduct by other companies.