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Raymond James has told its RIAs that they now can trade stocks, exchange-traded funds and options without transaction fees in their fee-based accounts. This puts the firm on an even footing with rivals Charles Schwab, TD Ameritrade, Fidelity and E-Trade, which also support registered investment advisors.

The news was shared Monday at a meeting of Raymond James’ Investment Advisors Division, which CNBC reported. (The company is in a “quiet period” before it reports earnings late Wednesday and declined to comment.) 

Also on Monday, Bank of America expanded its free online trading to its Merrill Edge offering for DIY investors with at least $20,000 in assets. 

Charles L. Failla of New York-based Sovereign Financial Group said in a phone interview that he and his colleagues have been watching the recent developments tied to the “race to zero commissions” and “came to the conference very hopeful” that Raymond James would announce such a move.

“We are now so pumped about it,” Failla told ThinkAdvisor early Tuesday.  

“We are super pleased. It’s worth highlighting that everyone likes zero costs and trades, but coupling it with … Raymond James’ fantastic advisor and client support is really phenomenal,” said the advisor, who has been with affiliated with the firm for about 20 years and made the jump to the RIA channel about a year ago.

Meanwhile, the firm’s employee and independent advisors will have to sit tight for cost-free client trades.

— Check out Zero Commissions a ‘Huge Deal’ for Advisors, BDs: Henschen on ThinkAdvisor.