FINRA Levies Fines for Sales of Leveraged and Inverse Exchange Traded Funds
(ETFs), An Investment Fraud Attorney Overviews FINRA's Attempt to
Crack Down on ETFs
Not unexpectedly, FINRA just levied fines against several major brokerage
firms for their misconduct in the sales of leveraged and inverse ETFs.
On May 1, 2012, UBS AG, Citigroup Inc Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo &
Co agreed to pay more than $9.1 million for selling inverse and leveraged
exchange-traded funds "without reasonable supervision," according
to a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) statement
as reported by Reuters early this week.
These fines are for sales made in an 18 month time frame (January 2008
– June 2009).
Why is June 2009 Significant?
Because FINRA actually thinks that its dissemination of aNotice to Members in June '09 (reminding those members of their obligations to customers
when selling non-traditional ETFs) resulted in brokerage firms immediately
fixing any problems they had regarding the sales of those products.
FINRA and other regulators began issuing these kinds of warnings in 2009
about the sale of these investments. FINRA itself was worried that brokers
were selling them to customers who were not appropriate for these kinds
of investments...those focusing on a conservative investment profile.
In reality, based on investors who have contacted us, we don’t believe
that any such “June 2009 bright line” exists. It does not
appear that the notice and warnings issued by FINRA were entirely heeded.
It would be nice if that "bright line" did exist, but it doesn’t.
We've started a resource site for investors who may have lost money
in ETFs, currently hold ETFs, are considering purchasing ETFs or are looking
to research investment options.
Click here to review an in-depth look at ETFs as presented by the Meyer Wilson investment fraud attorneys.