FWP 1 brhc10031370_fwp.htm IXE 14M ARNS DECEMBER 2021

 
Subject to Completion
Preliminary Term Sheet dated November 30,
2021
Filed Pursuant to Rule 433
Registration Statement No. 333-259205
(To Prospectus dated September 14, 2021,
Prospectus Supplement dated September 14, 2021 and
Product Supplement EQUITY ARN-1 dated November
29, 2021


Units
$10 principal amount per unit
CUSIP No.
 
Pricing Date*
Settlement Date*
Maturity Date*
 
December  , 2021
January  , 2022
February  , 2023

*Subject to change based on the actual date the notes are priced for initial sale to the public (the “pricing date”)
 
 

           

Accelerated Return Notes® Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index
       Maturity of approximately 14 months
       3-to-1 upside exposure to increases in the Index, subject to a capped return of [28.00% to 32.00%]
      1-to-1 downside exposure to decreases in the Index, with 100% of your principal at risk
       All payments occur at maturity and are subject to the credit risk of Royal Bank of Canada
       No periodic interest payments
     In addition to the underwriting discount set forth below, the notes include a hedging-related charge of $0.05 per unit. See “Structuring the Notes”
       Limited secondary market liquidity, with no exchange listing
      The notes are unsecured debt securities and are not savings accounts or insured deposits of a bank. The notes are not insured or guaranteed by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, or any other governmental agency of Canada or the United States

      
The notes are being issued by Royal Bank of Canada (“RBC”). There are important differences between the notes and a conventional debt security, including different investment risks and certain additional costs. See “Risk Factors” beginning on page TS-6 of this term sheet, “Additional Risk Factors” on page TS-7 of this term sheet, and “Risk Factors” beginning on page PS-7 of product supplement EQUITY ARN-1.
The initial estimated value of the notes as of the pricing date is expected to be between $9.00 and $9.49 per unit, which is less than the public offering price listed below. See “Summary” on the following page, “Risk Factors” beginning on page TS-6 of this term sheet and “Structuring the Notes” below for additional information. The actual value of your notes at any time will reflect many factors and cannot be predicted with accuracy.


None of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”), any state securities commission, or any other regulatory body has approved or disapproved of these securities or determined if this Note Prospectus (as defined below) is truthful or complete. Any representation to the contrary is a criminal offense.



 
Per Unit
Total
Public offering price(1)

$
10.000  
$
Underwriting discount(1)

$
0.175  
$
Proceeds, before expenses, to RBC

$
9.825  
$


(1)
For any purchase of 300,000 units or more in a single transaction by an individual investor or in combined transactions with the investor's household in this offering, the public offering price and the underwriting discount will be $9.950 per unit and $0.125 per unit, respectively. See “Supplement to the Plan of Distribution” below.
The notes:
Are Not FDIC Insured
Are Not Bank Guaranteed
May Lose Value

BofA Securities
December     , 2021


 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
Summary
The Accelerated Return Notes® Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023 (the “notes”) are our senior unsecured debt securities. The notes are not guaranteed or insured by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation or the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation or secured by collateral. The notes will rank equally with all of our other unsecured and unsubordinated debt. Any payments due on the notes, including any repayment of principal, will be subject to the credit risk of RBC.  The notes are not bail-inable notes (as defined in the prospectus supplement). The notes provide you a leveraged return, subject to a cap, if the Ending Value of the Market Measure, which is the Energy Select Sector Index (the “Index”), is greater than the Starting Value. If the Ending Value is less than the Starting Value, you will lose all or a portion of the principal amount of your notes. Any payments on the notes will be calculated based on the $10 principal amount per unit and will depend on the performance of the Index, subject to our credit risk. See “Terms of the Notes” below.
The economic terms of the notes (including the Capped Value) are based on our internal funding rate, which is the rate we would pay to borrow funds through the issuance of market-linked notes and the economic terms of certain related hedging arrangements.  Our internal funding rate is typically lower than the rate we would pay when we issue conventional fixed or floating rate debt securities.  This difference in funding rate, as well as the underwriting discount and the hedging related charge described below, will reduce the economic terms of the notes to you and the initial estimated value of the notes on the pricing date. Due to these factors, the public offering price you pay to purchase the notes will be greater than the initial estimated value of the notes.
On the cover page of this term sheet, we have provided the initial estimated value range for the notes.  This initial estimated value range was determined based on our and our affiliates’ pricing models, which take into consideration our internal funding rate and the market prices for the hedging arrangements related to the notes.  The initial estimated value of the notes calculated on the pricing date will be set forth in the final term sheet made available to investors in the notes. For more information about the initial estimated value and the structuring of the notes, see “Structuring the Notes” below.

Terms of the Notes
Issuer:
 
Royal Bank of Canada (“RBC”)
Principal Amount:
 
$10.00 per unit
Term:
 
Approximately 14 months
Market Measure:
 
The Energy Select Sector Index (Bloomberg symbol: “IXE”), a price return index.
Starting Value:
 
The closing level of the Market Measure on the pricing date
Ending Value:
 
The average of the closing levels of the Market Measure on each calculation day occurring during the Maturity Valuation Period. The scheduled calculation days are subject to postponement in the event of Market Disruption Events, as described on page PS-24 of product supplement EQUITY ARN-1.
Participation Rate:
 
300%
Capped Value:
 
[$12.80 to $13.20] per unit, which represents a return of [28.00% to 32.00%] over the principal amount. The actual Capped Value will be determined on the pricing date.
Maturity Valuation
Period:
 
Five scheduled calculation days shortly before the maturity date.
Fees and Charges:
 
The underwriting discount of $0.175 per unit listed on the cover page and the hedging related charge of $0.05 per unit described in “Structuring the Notes” below.
Calculation Agent:
 
BofA Securities, Inc. (“BofAS”).
Redemption Amount Determination
On the maturity date, you will receive a cash payment per unit determined as follows:
 
 
Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-2

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
The terms and risks of the notes are contained in this term sheet and in the following:
Product supplement EQUITY ARN-1 dated November 29, 2021:
Series I MTN prospectus supplement dated September 14, 2021:
Prospectus dated September 14, 2021:
These documents (together, the “Note Prospectus”) have been filed as part of a registration statement with the SEC, which may, without cost, be accessed on the SEC website as indicated above or obtained from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith (“MLPF&S”) or BofAS by calling 1-800-294-1322. Before you invest, you should read the Note Prospectus, including this term sheet, for information about us and this offering.  Any prior or contemporaneous oral statements and any other written materials you may have received are superseded by the Note Prospectus. Capitalized terms used but not defined in this term sheet have the meanings set forth in product supplement EQUITY ARN-1. Unless otherwise indicated or unless the context requires otherwise, all references in this document to “we,” “us,” “our,” or similar references are to RBC.
Investor Considerations
You may wish to consider an investment in the notes if:
You anticipate that the Index will increase moderately from the Starting Value to the Ending Value.
You are willing to risk a loss of principal and return if the Index decreases from the Starting Value to the Ending Value.
You accept that the return on the notes will be capped.
You are willing to forgo the interest payments that are paid on conventional interest bearing debt securities.
You are willing to forgo dividends or other benefits of owning the stocks included in the Index.
You are willing to accept a limited or no market for sales prior to maturity, and understand that the market prices for the notes, if any, will be affected by various factors, including our  actual and perceived creditworthiness, our internal funding rate and fees and charges on the notes.
You are willing to assume our credit risk, as issuer of the notes, for all payments under the notes, including the Redemption Amount.
The notes may not be an appropriate investment for you if:
You believe that the Index will decrease from the Starting Value to the Ending Value or that it will not increase sufficiently over the term of the notes to provide you with your desired return.
You seek principal repayment or preservation of capital.
You seek an uncapped return on your investment.
You seek interest payments or other current income on your investment.
You want to receive dividends or other distributions paid on the stocks included in the Index.
You seek an investment for which there will be a liquid secondary market.
You are unwilling or are unable to take market risk on the notes or to take our credit risk as issuer of the notes.
We urge you to consult your investment, legal, tax, accounting, and other advisors before you invest in the notes.


Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-3

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
Hypothetical Payout Profile and Examples of Payments at Maturity
The graph below is based on hypothetical numbers and values.
Accelerated Return Notes®
This graph reflects the returns on the notes, based on the Participation Rate of 300% and a hypothetical Capped Value of $13.00 per unit (the midpoint of the Capped Value range of [$12.80 to $13.20]). The green line reflects the returns on the notes, while the dotted gray line reflects the returns of a direct investment in the stocks included in the Index, excluding dividends.
This graph has been prepared for purposes of illustration only.
 
The following table and examples are for purposes of illustration only.  They are based on hypothetical values and show hypothetical returns on the notes. They illustrate the calculation of the Redemption Amount and total rate of return based on a hypothetical Starting Value of 100, the Participation Rate of 300%, a hypothetical Capped Value of $13.00 per unit and a range of hypothetical Ending Values. The actual amount you receive and the resulting total rate of return will depend on the actual Starting Value, Ending Value, Capped Value, and whether you hold the notes to maturity. The following examples do not take into account any tax consequences from investing in the notes.
For recent actual levels of the Market Measure, see “The Index” section below. The Index is a price return index and as such the Ending Value will not include any income generated by dividends paid on the stocks included in the Index, which you would otherwise be entitled to receive if you invested in those stocks directly. In addition, all payments on the notes are subject to issuer credit risk.

Ending Value
 
Percentage Change from the
Starting Value to the Ending
Value
 
Redemption Amount per Unit
 
Total Rate of Return on the
Notes
0.00
 
-100.00%
 
$0.00
 
-100.00%
50.00
 
-50.00%
 
$5.00
 
-50.00%
80.00
 
-20.00%
 
$8.00
 
-20.00%
90.00
 
-10.00%
 
$9.00
 
-10.00%
94.00
 
-6.00%
 
$9.40
 
-6.00%
97.00
 
-3.00%
 
$9.70
 
-3.00%
100.00(1)
 
0.00%
 
$10.00
 
0.00%
102.00
 
2.00%
 
$10.60
 
6.00%
103.00
 
3.00%
 
$10.90
 
9.00%
105.00
 
5.00%
 
$11.50
 
15.00%
110.00
 
10.00%
 
$13.00(2)
 
30.00%
120.00
 
20.00%
 
$13.00
 
30.00%
130.00
 
30.00%
 
$13.00
 
30.00%
140.00
 
40.00%
 
$13.00
 
30.00%
150.00
 
50.00%
 
$13.00
 
30.00%
160.00
 
60.00%
 
$13.00
 
30.00%
(1)
The hypothetical Starting Value of 100 used in these examples has been chosen for illustrative purposes only, and does not represent a likely actual Starting Value for the Market Measure.
(2)
The Redemption Amount per unit cannot exceed the hypothetical Capped Value.

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-4

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
Redemption Amount Calculation Examples
Example 1
The Ending Value is 80.00, or 80.00% of the Starting Value:
Starting Value:
100.00
Ending Value:
80.00
= $8.00 Redemption Amount per unit

Example 2
The Ending Value is 103.00, or 103.00% of the Starting Value:
Starting Value:
100.00
Ending Value:
103.00
= $10.90 Redemption Amount per unit

Example 3
The Ending Value is 130.00, or 130.00% of the Starting Value:
Starting Value:
100.00
Ending Value:
130.00
= $19.00, however, because the Redemption Amount for the notes cannot exceed the Capped Value, the Redemption Amount will be $13.00 per unit

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-5

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
Risk Factors
There are important differences between the notes and a conventional debt security.  An investment in the notes involves significant risks, including those listed below. You should carefully review the more detailed explanation of risks relating to the notes in the “Risk Factors” sections beginning on page PS-7 of product supplement EQUITY ARN-1, page S-2 of the MTN prospectus supplement, and page 1 of the prospectus identified above. We also urge you to consult your investment, legal, tax, accounting, and other advisors before you invest in the notes.
Structure-related Risks

Depending on the performance of the Index as measured shortly before the maturity date, your investment may result in a loss; there is no guaranteed return of principal.

Your return on the notes may be less than the yield you could earn by owning a conventional fixed or floating rate debt security of comparable maturity.

Payments on the notes are subject to our credit risk, and actual or perceived changes in our creditworthiness are expected to affect the value of the notes. If we become insolvent or are unable to pay our obligations, you may lose your entire investment.

Your investment return is limited to the return represented by the Capped Value and may be less than a comparable investment directly in the stocks included in the Index.
Valuation- and Market-related Risks

The initial estimated value of the notes is an estimate only, determined as of a particular point in time by reference to our and our affiliates’ pricing models. These pricing models consider certain assumptions and variables, including our credit spreads, our internal funding rate on the pricing date, mid-market terms on hedging transactions, expectations on interest rates and volatility, price-sensitivity analysis, and the expected term of the notes. These pricing models rely in part on certain forecasts about future events, which may prove to be incorrect.

The public offering price you pay for the notes will exceed the initial estimated value. If you attempt to sell the notes prior to maturity, their market value may be lower than the price you paid for them and lower than the initial estimated value. This is due to, among other things, changes in the level of the Index, our internal funding rate, and the inclusion in the public offering price of the underwriting discount and the hedging related charge, all as further described in “Structuring the Notes” below. These factors, together with various credit, market and economic factors over the term of the notes, are expected to reduce the price at which you may be able to sell the notes in any secondary market and will affect the value of the notes in complex and unpredictable ways.

The initial estimated value does not represent a minimum or maximum price at which we, MLPF&S, BofAS or any of our affiliates would be willing to purchase your notes in any secondary market (if any exists) at any time. The value of your notes at any time after issuance will vary based on many factors that cannot be predicted with accuracy, including the performance of the Index, our creditworthiness and changes in market conditions.

A trading market is not expected to develop for the notes. None of us, MLPF&S or BofAS is obligated to make a market for, or to repurchase, the notes. There is no assurance that any party will be willing to purchase your notes at any price in any secondary market.
Conflict-related Risks

Our business, hedging and trading activities, and those of MLPF&S, BofAS and our respective affiliates (including trades in shares of companies included in the Index), and any hedging and trading activities we, MLPF&S, BofAS or our respective affiliates engage in for our clients’ accounts, may affect the market value and return of the notes and may create conflicts of interest with you.

There may be potential conflicts of interest involving the calculation agent, which is BofAS.  We have the right to appoint and remove the calculation agent.
Market Measure-related Risks

The Index sponsor may adjust the Index in a way that affects its level, and has no obligation to consider your interests.

You will have no rights of a holder of the securities represented by the Index, and you will not be entitled to receive securities or dividends or other distributions by the issuers of those securities.

While we, MLPF&S, BofAS or our respective affiliates may from time to time own securities of companies included in the Index, we, MLPF&S, BofAS and our respective affiliates do not control any company included in the Index, and have not verified any disclosure made by any other company.

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-6

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
Tax-related Risks

The U.S. federal income tax consequences of the notes are uncertain, and may be adverse to a holder of the notes.  See “Summary of U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences” below and “U.S. Federal Income Tax Summary” beginning on page PS-41 of product supplement EQUITY ARN-1. For a discussion of the Canadian federal income tax consequences of investing in the notes, see “Tax Consequences—Canadian Taxation” in the prospectus dated September 14, 2021.
Additional Risk Factors
The stocks included in the Index are concentrated in one sector.
All of the stocks included in the Index are issued by companies in the energy sector. As a result, the stocks that will determine the performance of the notes are concentrated in one sector. Although an investment in the notes will not give holders any ownership or other direct interests in the stocks underlying the Index, the return on an investment in the notes will be subject to certain risks associated with a direct equity investment in companies in the energy sector. Accordingly, by investing in the notes, you will not benefit from the diversification which could result from an investment linked to companies that operate in multiple sectors.
A limited number of Index components may affect the Index level and the Index is not necessarily representative of the energy sector.
While the securities included in the Index are common stocks of companies generally considered to be involved in various segments of the energy sector, the securities included in the Index may not follow the price movements of the entire energy sector generally. As of the date of this document, less than five securities accounted for more than half of the weight of the Index. If the securities included in the Index decline in value, the Index will decline in value even if security prices in the energy sector generally increase in value.
The stocks of companies in the energy sector are subject to swift price fluctuations.
The issuers of the stocks included in the Index develop and produce, among other things, crude oil and natural gas, and provide, among other things, drilling services and other services related to energy resources production and distribution. Stock prices for these types of companies are affected by supply and demand both for their specific product or service and for energy products in general. The price of oil and gas, exploration and production spending, government regulation, world events and economic conditions will likewise affect the performance of these companies. Correspondingly, the stocks of companies in the energy sector are subject to swift price fluctuations caused by events relating to international politics, energy conservation, the success of exploration projects and tax and other governmental regulatory policies. Weak demand for the companies’ products or services or for energy products and services in general, as well as negative developments in these other areas, would adversely impact the value of the stocks included in the Index and, therefore, the level of the Index and the value of the notes.

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-7

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
The Index
All disclosures contained in this term sheet regarding the Index, including, without limitation, its make-up, method of calculation, and changes in its components, have been derived from publicly available sources. The information reflects the policies of, and is subject to change by, S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC (the “Index sponsor”). The Index sponsor, which licenses the copyright and all other rights to the Index, has no obligation to continue to publish, and may discontinue publication of, the Index. The consequences of the Index sponsor discontinuing publication of the Index are discussed in the section entitled “Description of ARNs—Discontinuance of an Index” in product supplement EQUITY ARN-1. None of us, the calculation agent, MLPF&S or BofAS accepts any responsibility for the calculation, maintenance or publication of the Index or any successor index.
The Energy Select Sector Index (the “IXE”) is a modified market capitalization-based index. The IXE is intended to track the movements of companies that are components of the S&P 500® Index and are involved in the development or production of energy products. The Index includes companies from the oil, gas and consumable fuels industry, as well as the energy equipment and services industry.
The IXE is one of the Select Sector Indices. The Select Sector Indices are sub-indices of the S&P 500® Index. Each stock in the S&P 500® Index is allocated to only one Select Sector Index, and the combined companies of the eleven Select Sector Indices represent all of the companies in the S&P 500® Index. The industry indices are sub-categories within each Select Sector Index and represent a specific industry segment of the overall Select Sector Index.
The Index Sponsor calculates the Index by reference to the prices of the constituent stocks of the Index without taking account of the value of dividends paid on those stocks. As a result, the return on the notes will not reflect the return you would realize if you actually owned the Index constituent stocks and received the dividends paid on those stocks.
Each Select Sector Index was developed and is maintained in accordance with the following criteria:

Each of the component stocks in a Select Sector Index (the “Component Stocks”) is a constituent company of the S&P 500® Index.

The eleven Select Sector Indices together will include all of the companies represented in the S&P 500® Index and each of the stocks in the S&P 500® Index will be allocated to at least one of the Select Sector Indices.

Each constituent stock of the S&P 500® Index is assigned to a Select Sector Index based on the Global Industry Classification Sector (“GICS”) structure. Each Select Sector Index is made up of all the stocks in the applicable GICS sector.

Each Select Sector Index is calculated by the Index Sponsor using a capped market capitalization methodology where single index constituents or defined groups of index constituents are confined to a maximum weight and the excess weight is distributed proportionally among the remaining index constituents. Each Select Sector Index is rebalanced from time to time to re-establish the proper weighting.

For reweighting purposes, each Select Sector Index is rebalanced quarterly after the close of business on the third Friday of March, June September and December using the following procedures: (1) The rebalancing reference date is the second Friday of March, June, September and December; (2) With prices reflected on the rebalancing reference date, and membership, shares outstanding and investable weight factors (as described in the section “Computation of the S&P 500 Index®” below) as of the rebalancing effective date, each company is weighted by float-adjusted market capitalization methodology. Modifications are made as defined below.

i.
If any Component Stock has a weight greater than 24%, that Component Stock has its float-adjusted market capitalization weight capped at 23%. The 23% weight cap creates a 2% buffer to ensure that no Component Stock exceeds 25% as of the quarter-end diversification requirement date.

ii.
All excess weight is equally redistributed to all uncapped Component Stocks within the relevant Select Sector Index.

iii.
After this redistribution, if the float-adjusted market capitalization weight of any other Component Stock(s) then breaches 23%, the process is repeated iteratively until no Component Stocks breaches the 23% weight cap.

iv.
The sum of the Component Stocks with weights greater than 4.8% cannot exceed 50% of the total index weight. These caps are set to allow for a buffer below the 5% limit.

v.
If the rule in step (iv) is breached, all the Component Stocks are ranked in descending order of their float-adjusted market capitalization weights and the first Component Stock that causes the 50% limit to be breached has its weight reduced to 4.5%.

vi.
This excess weight is equally redistributed to all Component Stocks with weights below 4.5%. This process is repeated iteratively until step (iv) is satisfied.

vii.
Index share amounts are assigned to each Component Stock to arrive at the weights calculated above. Since index shares are assigned based on prices one week prior to rebalancing, the actual weight of each Component Stock at the rebalancing differs somewhat from these weights due to market movements.

viii.
If, on the second to last business day of March, June, September, or December a company has a weight greater than 24% or the sum of the companies with weights greater than 4.8% exceeds 50%, a secondary rebalancing will be

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-8

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
triggered with the rebalancing effective date being after the close of the last business day of the month. This secondary rebalancing will use the closing prices as of the second to last business day of March, June, September, or December and membership, shares outstanding, and IWFs as of the rebalancing date.

At times, Component Stocks may be represented in the Select Sector Indices by multiple share class lines. Maximum weight capping is based on Component Stock float-adjusted market capitalization, with the weight of multiple class companies allocated proportionally to each share class line based on its float-adjusted market capitalization as of the rebalancing reference date. If no capping is required, both share classes remain in the Select Sector Index at their natural float-adjusted market capitalization.
Each Select Sector Index is calculated using the same methodology utilized by S&P Dow Jones Indices in calculating the S&P 500® Index, using a base-weighted aggregate methodology. The daily calculation of each Select Sector Index is computed by dividing the total market value of the companies in the Select Sector Index by a number called the index divisor.
The S&P 500® Index

The S&P 500® Index is intended to provide an indication of the pattern of price movements among large-cap U.S. equity securities. The calculation of the level of the S&P 500® Index is based on the relative value of the aggregate market value of the common stocks of 500 companies as of a particular time compared to the aggregate average market value of the common stocks of 500 similar companies during the base period of the years 1941 through 1943.

S&P Dow Jones Indices calculates the S&P 500® Index by reference to the prices of the constituent stocks of the S&P 500® Index without taking account of the value of dividends paid on those stocks. As a result, the return on the notes will not reflect the return you would realize if you actually owned the S&P 500® Index constituent stocks and received the dividends paid on those stocks.

Computation of the S&P 500® Index

While S&P Dow Jones Indices currently employs the following methodology to calculate the S&P 500® Index, no assurance can be given that S&P Dow Jones Indices will not modify or change this methodology in a manner that may affect the Redemption Amount.

Historically, the market value of any component stock of the S&P 500® Index was calculated as the product of the market price per share and the number of then outstanding shares of such component stock. In March 2005, S&P Dow Jones Indices began shifting the S&P 500® Index halfway from a market capitalization weighted formula to a float-adjusted formula, before moving the S&P 500® Index to full float adjustment on September 16, 2005. S&P Dow Jones Indices’s criteria for selecting stocks for the S&P 500® Index did not change with the shift to float adjustment. However, the adjustment affects each company’s weight in the S&P 500® Index.

Under float adjustment, the share counts used in calculating the S&P 500® Index reflect only those shares that are available to investors, not all of a company’s outstanding shares. Float adjustment excludes shares that are closely held by control groups, other publicly traded companies or government agencies.

In September 2012, all shareholdings representing more than 5% of a stock’s outstanding shares, other than holdings by “block owners,” were removed from the float for purposes of calculating the S&P 500® Index.  Generally, these “control holders” will include officers and directors, private equity, venture capital and special equity firms, other publicly traded companies that hold shares for control, strategic partners, holders of restricted shares, ESOPs, employee and family trusts, foundations associated with the company, holders of unlisted share classes of stock, government entities at all levels (other than government retirement/pension funds) and any individual person who controls a 5% or greater stake in a company as reported in regulatory filings.  However, holdings by block owners, such as depositary banks, pension funds, mutual funds and ETF providers, 401(k) plans of the company, government retirement/pension funds, investment funds of insurance companies, asset managers and investment funds, independent foundations and savings and investment plans, will ordinarily be considered part of the float.

Treasury stock, stock options, equity participation units, warrants, preferred stock, convertible stock, and rights are not part of the float. Shares held in a trust to allow investors in countries outside the country of domicile, such as depositary shares and Canadian exchangeable shares are normally part of the float unless those shares form a control block.  If a company has multiple classes of stock outstanding, shares in an unlisted or non-traded class are treated as a control block.

For each stock, an investable weight factor (“IWF”) is calculated by dividing the available float shares by the total shares outstanding.  As of September 21, 2012, available float shares are defined as the total shares outstanding less shares held by control holders. This calculation is subject to a 5% minimum threshold for control blocks. For example, if a company’s officers and directors hold 3% of the company’s shares, and no other control group holds 5% of the company’s shares, S&P Dow Jones Indices would assign that company an IWF of 1.00, as no control group meets the 5% threshold. However, if a company’s officers and directors hold 3% of the company’s shares and another control group holds 20% of the company’s shares, S&P Dow Jones Indices would assign an IWF of 0.77, reflecting the fact that 23% of the company’s outstanding shares are considered to be held for control.

The S&P 500® Index is calculated using a base-weighted aggregate methodology. The level of the S&P 500® Index reflects the total market value of all 500 component stocks relative to the base period of the years 1941 through 1943. An indexed number is used to represent the results of this calculation in order to make the level easier to work with and track over time. The actual total market value

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-9

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
of the component stocks during the base period of the years 1941 through 1943 has been set to an indexed level of 10. This is often indicated by the notation 1941-43 = 10. In practice, the daily calculation of the S&P 500® Index is computed by dividing the total market value of the component stocks by the “index divisor.” By itself, the index divisor is an arbitrary number. However, in the context of the calculation of the S&P 500® Index, it serves as a link to the original base period level of the S&P 500® Index. The index divisor keeps the S&P 500® Index comparable over time and is the manipulation point for all adjustments to the S&P 500® Index, which is index maintenance.

Maintenance of the S&P 500® Index

Index maintenance includes monitoring and completing the adjustments for company additions and deletions, share changes, stock splits, stock dividends, and stock price adjustments due to company restructuring or spinoffs. Some corporate actions, such as stock splits and stock dividends, require changes in the common shares outstanding and the stock prices of the companies in the S&P 500® Index, and do not require index divisor adjustments.
To prevent the level of the S&P 500® Index from changing due to corporate actions, corporate actions which affect the total market value of the S&P 500® Index require an index divisor adjustment. By adjusting the index divisor for the change in market value, the level of the SPX remains constant and does not reflect the corporate actions of individual companies in the S&P 500® Index. Index divisor adjustments are made after the close of trading and after the calculation of the S&P 500® Index closing level.
Changes in a company’s shares outstanding and IWF due to its acquisition of another public company are made as soon as reasonably possible. At the discretion of the S&P 500® Index sponsor, de minimis merger and acquisition share changes are accumulated and implemented with the quarterly share rebalancing.
All other changes of less than 5.00% are accumulated and made quarterly on the third Friday of March, June, September, and December.
Changes in a company’s total shares outstanding of 5.00% or more due to public offerings are made as soon as reasonably possible. Other changes of 5.00% or more (for example, due to tender offers, Dutch auctions, voluntary exchange offers, company stock repurchases, private placements, acquisitions of private companies or non-index companies that do not trade on a major exchange, redemptions, exercise of options, warrants, conversion of preferred stock, notes, debt, equity participations, at-the-market stock offerings or other recapitalizations) are made weekly, and are generally announced on Fridays for implementation after the close of trading the following Friday (one week later). If a 5.00% or more share change causes a company’s IWF to change by five percentage points or more, the IWF is updated at the same time as the share change. IWF changes resulting from partial tender offers are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-10

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
The following graph shows the daily historical performance of the Index in the period from January 1, 2011 through November 29, 2021.  We obtained this historical data from Bloomberg L.P.  We have not independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information obtained from Bloomberg L.P. On November 29, 2021, the closing level of the Index was 580.68.
Historical Performance of the Index
This historical data on the Index is not necessarily indicative of the future performance of the Index or what the value of the notes may be. Any historical upward or downward trend in the level of the Index during any period set forth above is not an indication that the level of the Index is more or less likely to increase or decrease at any time over the term of the notes.
Before investing in the notes, you should consult publicly available sources for the levels of the Index.
License Agreement

S&P® is a registered trademark of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones® is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC (“Dow Jones”).  These trademarks have been licensed for use by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC. “Standard & Poor’s®,” “S&P 500®” and “S&P®” are trademarks of S&P. These trademarks have been sublicensed for certain purposes by us.  The SPX is a product of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and/or its affiliates and has been licensed for use by us.
The notes are not sponsored, endorsed, sold or promoted by S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, Dow Jones, Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC or any of their respective affiliates (collectively, “S&P Dow Jones Indices”).  S&P Dow Jones Indices make no representation or warranty, express or implied, to the holders of the notes or any member of the public regarding the advisability of investing in securities generally or in the notes particularly or the ability of the SPX to track general market performance.  S&P Dow Jones Indices’ only relationship to us with respect to the SPX is the licensing of the SPX and certain trademarks, service marks and/or trade names of S&P Dow Jones Indices and/or its third party licensors.  The SPX is determined, composed and calculated by S&P Dow Jones Indices without regard to us or the notes.  S&P Dow Jones Indices have no obligation to take our needs or the needs of holders of the notes into consideration in determining, composing or calculating the SPX.  S&P Dow Jones Indices are not responsible for and have not participated in the determination of the prices, and amount of the notes or the timing of the issuance or sale of the notes or in the determination or calculation of the equation by which the notes are to be converted into cash.  S&P Dow Jones Indices have no obligation or liability in connection with the administration, marketing or trading of the notes.  There is no assurance that investment products based on the SPX will accurately track index performance or provide positive investment returns.  S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and its subsidiaries are not investment advisors.  Inclusion of a security or futures contract within an index is not a recommendation by S&P Dow Jones Indices to buy, sell, or hold such security or futures contract, nor is it considered to be investment advice.   Notwithstanding the foregoing, CME Group Inc. and its affiliates may independently issue and/or sponsor financial products unrelated to the notes currently being issued by us, but which may be similar to and competitive with the notes.  In addition, CME Group Inc. and its affiliates may trade financial products which are linked to the performance of the SPX.  It is possible that this trading activity will affect the value of the notes.
S&P DOW JONES INDICES DO NOT GUARANTEE THE ADEQUACY, ACCURACY, TIMELINESS AND/OR THE COMPLETENESS OF THE SPX OR ANY DATA RELATED THERETO OR ANY COMMUNICATION, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, ORAL OR WRITTEN COMMUNICATION (INCLUDING ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS) WITH RESPECT THERETO.  S&P DOW JONES INDICES SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO ANY DAMAGES OR LIABILITY FOR ANY ERRORS, OMISSIONS, OR DELAYS THEREIN.  S&P DOW JONES INDICES MAKE NO EXPRESS OR IMPLIED WARRANTIES, AND EXPRESSLY DISCLAIMS ALL WARRANTIES, OF MERCHANTABILITY OR FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE OR USE OR AS TO RESULTS TO BE OBTAINED BY US, HOLDERS OF THE NOTES, OR ANY OTHER PERSON OR ENTITY FROM THE USE OF THE SPX OR WITH RESPECT TO ANY

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-11

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
DATA RELATED THERETO.  WITHOUT LIMITING ANY OF THE FOREGOING, IN NO EVENT WHATSOEVER SHALL S&P DOW JONES INDICES BE LIABLE FOR ANY INDIRECT, SPECIAL, INCIDENTAL, PUNITIVE, OR CONSEQUENTIAL DAMAGES INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, LOSS OF PROFITS, TRADING LOSSES, LOST TIME OR GOODWILL, EVEN IF THEY HAVE BEEN ADVISED OF THE POSSIBILITY OF SUCH DAMAGES, WHETHER IN CONTRACT, TORT, STRICT LIABILITY, OR OTHERWISE.  THERE ARE NO THIRD PARTY BENEFICIARIES OF ANY AGREEMENTS OR ARRANGEMENTS BETWEEN S&P DOW JONES INDICES AND US, OTHER THAN THE LICENSORS OF S&P DOW JONES INDICES.

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-12

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
Supplement to the Plan of Distribution
Under our distribution agreement with BofAS, BofAS will purchase the notes from us as principal at the public offering price indicated on the cover of this term sheet, less the indicated underwriting discount.
MLPF&S will purchase the notes from BofAS for resale, and will receive a selling concession in connection with the sale of the notes in an amount up to the full amount of underwriting discount set forth on the cover of this term sheet.
We may deliver the notes against payment therefor in New York, New York on a date that is greater than two business days following the pricing date. Under Rule 15c6-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, trades in the secondary market generally are required to settle in two business days, unless the parties to any such trade expressly agree otherwise. Accordingly, if the initial settlement of the notes occurs more than two business days from the pricing date, purchasers who wish to trade the notes more than two business days prior to the original issue date will be required to specify alternative settlement arrangements to prevent a failed settlement.
The notes will not be listed on any securities exchange. In the original offering of the notes, the notes will be sold in minimum investment amounts of 100 units. If you place an order to purchase the notes, you are consenting to MLPF&S and/or one of its affiliates acting as a principal in effecting the transaction for your account.
MLPF&S and BofAS may repurchase and resell the notes, with repurchases and resales being made at prices related to then-prevailing market prices or at negotiated prices, and these prices will include MLPF&S’s and BofAS’s trading commissions and mark-ups or mark-downs. MLPF&S and BofAS may act as principal or agent in these market-making transactions; however, neither is obligated to engage in any such transactions. At their discretion, for a short, undetermined initial period after the issuance of the notes, MLPF&S and BofAS may offer to buy the notes in the secondary market at a price that may exceed the initial estimated value of the notes. Any price offered by MLPF&S or BofAS for the notes will be based on then-prevailing market conditions and other considerations, including the performance of the Index and the remaining term of the notes. However, none of us, MLPF&S, BofAS or any of our respective affiliates is obligated to purchase your notes at any price or at any time, and we cannot assure you that we, MLPF&S, BofAS or any of our respective affiliates will purchase your notes at a price that equals or exceeds the initial estimated value of the notes.
The value of the notes shown on your account statement will be based on BofAS’s estimate of the value of the notes if BofAS or another of its affiliates were to make a market in the notes, which it is not obligated to do. That estimate will be based upon the price that BofAS may pay for the notes in light of then-prevailing market conditions and other considerations, as mentioned above, and will include transaction costs. At certain times, this price may be higher than or lower than the initial estimated value of the notes.
The distribution of the Note Prospectus in connection with these offers or sales will be solely for the purpose of providing investors with the description of the terms of the notes that was made available to investors in connection with their initial offering. Secondary market investors should not, and will not be authorized to, rely on the Note Prospectus for information regarding RBC or for any purpose other than that described in the immediately preceding sentence.
An investor’s household, as referenced on the cover of this term sheet, will generally include accounts held by any of the following, as determined by MLPF&S in its discretion and acting in good faith based upon information then available to MLPF&S:

the investor’s spouse (including a domestic partner), siblings, parents, grandparents, spouse’s parents, children and grandchildren, but excluding accounts held by aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews or any other family relationship not directly above or below the individual investor;

a family investment vehicle, including foundations, limited partnerships and personal holding companies, but only if the beneficial owners of the vehicle consist solely of the investor or members of the investor’s household as described above; and

a trust where the grantors and/or beneficiaries of the trust consist solely of the investor or members of the investor’s household as described above; provided that, purchases of the notes by a trust generally cannot be aggregated together with any purchases made by a trustee’s personal account.
Purchases in retirement accounts will not be considered part of the same household as an individual investor’s personal or other non-retirement account, except for individual retirement accounts (“IRAs”), simplified employee pension plans (“SEPs”), savings incentive match plan for employees (“SIMPLEs”), and single-participant or owners only accounts (i.e., retirement accounts held by self-employed individuals, business owners or partners with no employees other than their spouses).

Please contact your Merrill financial advisor if you have any questions about the application of these provisions to your specific circumstances or think you are eligible.

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-13

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
Structuring the Notes
The notes are our debt securities, the return on which is linked to the performance of the Index.  As is the case for all of our debt securities, including our market-linked notes, the economic terms of the notes reflect our actual or perceived creditworthiness at the time of pricing.  In addition, because market-linked notes result in increased operational, funding and liability management costs to us, we typically borrow the funds under these notes at a rate that is more favorable to us than the rate which we refer to as our internal funding rate, which is the rate that we might pay for a conventional fixed or floating rate debt security. This generally relatively lower internal funding rate, which is reflected in the economic terms of the notes, along with the fees and charges associated with market-linked notes, typically results in the initial estimated value of the notes on the pricing date being less than their public offering price.
At maturity, we are required to pay the Redemption Amount to holders of the notes, which will be calculated based on the $10 per unit principal amount and will depend on the performance of the Index. In order to meet these payment obligations, at the time we issue the notes, we may choose to enter into certain hedging arrangements (which may include call options, put options or other derivatives) with BofAS or one of its affiliates.  The terms of these hedging arrangements are determined by seeking bids from market participants, including MLPF&S, BofAS and its affiliates, and take into account a number of factors, including our creditworthiness, interest rate movements, the volatility of the Index, the tenor of the notes and the tenor of the hedging arrangements.  The economic terms of the notes and their initial estimated value depend in part on the terms of these hedging arrangements.
BofAS has advised us that the hedging arrangements will include a hedging related charge of approximately $0.05 per unit, reflecting an estimated profit to be credited to BofAS from these transactions.  Since hedging entails risk and may be influenced by unpredictable market forces, additional profits and losses from these hedging arrangements may be realized by BofAS or any third party hedge providers.
For further information, see “Risk Factors—Valuation- and Market-related Risks” beginning on page PS-7 and “Use of Proceeds and Hedging” on page PS-20 of product supplement EQUITY ARN-1.

Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-14

 
Accelerated Return Notes®
Linked to the Energy Select Sector Index, due February  , 2023
Summary of Canadian Federal Income Tax Consequences
For a discussion of the material Canadian federal income tax consequences relating to an investment in the notes, please see the section entitled “Tax Consequences—Canadian Taxation” in the prospectus dated September 14, 2021.
Summary of U.S. Federal Income Tax Consequences
You should consider the U.S. federal income tax consequences of an investment in the notes, including the following:

There is no statutory, judicial, or administrative authority directly addressing the characterization of the notes.

You agree with us (in the absence of a statutory, regulatory, administrative, or judicial ruling to the contrary) to characterize and treat the notes for all tax purposes as pre-paid cash-settled derivative contracts in respect of the Index.

Under this characterization and tax treatment of the notes, a U.S. holder (as defined on page 42 of the prospectus) generally will recognize capital gain or loss upon the sale or maturity of the notes. This capital gain or loss generally will be long-term capital gain or loss if you held the notes for more than one year.

No assurance can be given that the Internal Revenue Service or any court will agree with this characterization and tax treatment.

You should consult your own tax advisor concerning the U.S. federal income tax consequences to you of acquiring, owning, and disposing of the notes, as well as any tax consequences arising under the laws of any state, local, foreign, or other tax jurisdiction and the possible effects of changes in U.S. federal or other tax laws.  You should review carefully the discussion under the section entitled “U.S. Federal Income Tax Summary” beginning on page PS-39 of product supplement EQUITY ARN-1.
Where You Can Find More Information
We have filed a registration statement (including a product supplement, a prospectus supplement, and a prospectus) with the SEC for the offering to which this term sheet relates.  Before you invest, you should read the Note Prospectus, including this term sheet, and the other documents that we have filed with the SEC, for more complete information about us and this offering.  You may get these documents without cost by visiting EDGAR on the SEC website at www.sec.gov.  Alternatively, we, any agent, or any dealer participating in this offering will arrange to send you these documents if you so request by calling MLPF&S or BofAS toll-free at 1-800-294-1322.

“Accelerated Return Notes®” and “ARNs®” are the registered service marks of Bank of America Corporation, the parent company of MLPF&S and BofAS.


Accelerated Return Notes®
TS-15