Variable Annuity

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May 8, 2018

FINRA SANCTIONS FIFTH THIRD SECURITIES, INC. OVER VARIABLE ANNUITY EXCHANGES

By |May 8th, 2018|Misrepresentation and Fraud, SEC, Securities Law Violations, Variable Annuity|

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has announced a fine of $4 million and required an additional $2 million in restitutionary damages from Fifth Third Securities, Inc. for its failures to consider and accurately describe the costs and benefits of variable annuity exchanges, and for recommending variable annuity exchanges without a reasonable basis to believe [...]

Jan 25, 2017

Buffer Annuities: Why Regulators Are Seeing Complaints

By |January 25th, 2017|FINRA, FINRA News, Legal Matters, Press Releases & News, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

Regulators are beginning to shift their attention toward buffer annuities, a new kind of variable annuity. These annuities are extremely complicated and utilize structured products, rather than mutual funds, in the sub-account as the underlying investment. Donald Lopezi, Senior Vice President and Regional Director of FINRA's western region, has noted that the regulator [...]

Jan 24, 2017

FINRA January 2017 Disciplinary Actions

By |January 24th, 2017|Alabama, Bonds, Broker Check, Churning, Conflict of Interest, Conspiracy, Failure To Supervise, Fiduciary Duties, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Georgia, Hedge, Bond & Mutual Funds, Legal Matters, Master Limited Partnership, Misappropriated Funds, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, Private Placements, Pump-And-Dump, REIT, SEC, Securities Law Violations, Selling Away, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

FINRA takes disciplinary actions against firms and individuals for violations of FINRA rules; federal securities laws, rules, and regulations; and the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board. Below are a number of penalties announced by the regulator in January 2017. If you have been a victim of any of the below behavior, you may [...]

Jan 16, 2017

Richard Gearhart & George McKown Charged With Securities Fraud

By |January 16th, 2017|401(k), Conspiracy, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Ponzi Scheme, Press Releases & News, SEC, Securities Law Violations, Unregistered broker dealer, Variable Annuity|

Richard Gearhart of Lowell, Indiana and George McKown of Indianapolis, Indiana have been indicted on fraud charges after prosecutors claim they sold securities to investors despite not being registered to do so. The two were charged with conspiracy to commit securities fraud, securities fraud, and wire fraud, said U.S. Attorney David Capp. According [...]

Jan 2, 2017

Valic Financial Advisors Fined $1.75M

By |January 2nd, 2017|FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, Variable Annuity|

Referring to several conflicts of interest regarding how the firm paid brokers selling annuities, FINRA announced that it fined Valic Financial Advisors Inc. $1.75 million. FINRA found that VFA "failed to have a reasonable system to address and review the conflict of interest created by its compensation policy,” the regulator stated. It specifically pointed to occasions [...]

Nov 22, 2016

Indexed Annuities Up, Variable Annuities Down In 2016

By |November 22nd, 2016|Variable Annuity|

Fixed index annuity sales are on pace for a record year in 2016 as low interest rates and product features driver their popularity among broker-dealers and in the face of a potential new Labor Department investment-advice regulation that will make sales of these harder. Simultaneously, sales of variable annuities are projected to be their lowest [...]

Oct 7, 2016

Texas Broker-Dealer Fined Over Variable Annuities

By |October 7th, 2016|Failure To Supervise, Fiduciary Duties, FINRA News, REIT, Variable Annuity|

An annuity exchange allows brokers to transfer an investor's funds in an annuity to a new policy without incurring tax penalties. IMS Securities, a small broker-dealer firm, was fined $100,000 by FINRA for failing to supervise their brokers who used the annuity exchange to benefit themselves, according to a recent Investment News article. The brokers at IMS were [...]

Jul 20, 2016

FINRA Bars Broker Bernard McGee

By |July 20th, 2016|Failure To Disclose, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

FINRA barred broker Bernard McGee and ordered him to pay about $250,000 in penalties for fraudulent annuity recommendations he made to an elderly customer. According to FINRA, he surrendered four variable annuity policies owned by the 71 year old customer valued at roughly $500,000 and used the money to purchase a charitable gift annuity from [...]

Jul 13, 2016

Winston Wade Turner Banned from Securities Industry by FINRA for ‘Unethical and Dishonest Actions

By |July 13th, 2016|FINRA, FINRA News, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Variable Annuity|

FINRA banned Winston Wade Turner, a former Prudential Financial Inc. and MetLife Inc. broker, from the securities industry for making unsuitable variable annuity recommendations. Turner misled clients by misrepresenting and omitting material facts about the sales, according to the regulatory authority. Additionally, Turner hid that he convinced a number of clients to surrender existing variable [...]

Jun 7, 2016

Variable Annuities The Subject Of High Scrutiny

By |June 7th, 2016|FINRA, FINRA News, Variable Annuity|

Recently, two FINRA enforcement officials emphasized at an insurance industry conference that variable annuities, which offer lifetime guaranteed income to investors but can be complicated and expensive, are still the subject of high scrutiny. “Variable annuities are just very frequently involved in our cases,” Russ Ryan, FINRA Senior Vice President and Deputy Chief of [...]

May 3, 2016

MetLife To Pay Record Fine Of $25M

By |May 3rd, 2016|FINRA, FINRA News, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Variable Annuity|

MetLife has agreed to pay $25 million to settle an investigation of abuses pertaining to variable annuities. That penalty is the greatest amount ever paid for violations regarding those products. From that $25 million, $20 million will go to FINRA as a fine and $5 million will be paid to customers for negligent misrepresentations and [...]

Mar 2, 2016

Ex-MetLife, Pruco Broker Accused Of Deceptive Variable Annuity Sales Practices

By |March 2nd, 2016|Broker Check, Failure To Supervise, FINRA, FINRA News, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

FINRA has accused a former MetLife Securities Inc. and Pruco Securities Inc. broker, Winston Wade Turner, of harmful and deceptive variable annuity sales practices. According to FINRA's complaint, Turner allegedly "engaged in a course of deception and other misconduct in connection with sales and exchanges of variable annuities involving numerous customers." Turner also allegedly induced [...]

Feb 3, 2016

Frankowski Firm Investigating Former Ameriprise Broker

By |February 3rd, 2016|Broker Check, FINRA, Fraud, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Press Releases & News, REIT, Securities Law Violations, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

According to FINRA, former Ameriprise Financial Services broker Michael Hainsworth from Florida is the subject of a number of customer complaints, a regulatory sanction, and was discharged from Ameriprise. Though Hainsworth is no longer licensed to act as a broker or investment adviser, he spent twelve years in the securities industry with Ameriprise in Fort [...]

Dec 28, 2015

FINRA December 2015 Disciplinary Actions: Part II

By |December 28th, 2015|Failure To Supervise, FINRA, FINRA News, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Press Releases & News, Private Placements, REIT, Securities Law Violations, Variable Annuity|

Wunderlich Securities, Inc. (Memphis, TN) submitted an AWC in which the firm was censured and fined $50,000. FINRA found that it failed to establish, maintain, and enforce an adequate supervisory system and written procedures regarding the preparation and dissemination of consolidated reports. The findings stated that although the firm’s WSPs expressly permitted the preparation and dissemination [...]

Dec 15, 2015

Broker-Dealer Settles Variable Annuity Case for $475k

By |December 15th, 2015|Failure To Supervise, FINRA, FINRA News, Press Releases & News, Variable Annuity|

Comprehensive Asset Management and Servicing Inc. ("CAMS") has agreed to pay $475,000 to settle claims that the firm failed to reasonably supervise representatives' sales of variable annuities, among other complaints. From February 2008 and 2012 the New Jersey broker-dealer "failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system and procedures reasonably designed to supervise variable [...]

Nov 6, 2015

FINRA Wants ‘Significant Fine’ From MetLife For Variable Annuity Sales

By |November 6th, 2015|Failure To Supervise, FINRA, FINRA News, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Suitability, Variable Annuity|

MetLife Inc., the biggest life insurer in the country, said that FINRA will seek a "significant fine" from the company's broker-dealer unit as part of an investigation into potential violations relating to variable annuities. MetLife stated that it is cooperating with the investigation. The examination centers on possible violations "regarding alleged misrepresentations, suitability, and supervision [...]

Oct 19, 2015

What Advisers Get Wrong About Variable Annuities

By |October 19th, 2015|Variable Annuity|

Both advisers and insurers believe that variable annuities with guaranteed benefit riders are the most complicated annuity products. Certain aspects of these annuity contracts can lead to misconceptions among advisers regarding how the products work and among customers regarding what they are purchasing. “A lot of the people selling these products simply don't fully understand [...]

Sep 18, 2015

FINRA August 2015 Disciplinary Actions: Part IV

By |September 18th, 2015|FINRA, FINRA News, Misrepresentation and Fraud, Press Releases & News, Securities Law Violations, Variable Annuity|

Mark Andrew Bullivant of Fort Myers, Florida submitted a letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent that banned him from associating with any FINRA member in any capacity. FINRA found that Bullivant refused to appear for FINRA-requested on-the-record testimony pertaining to an investigation into whether he had converted customer funds. Terry Wayne Burcin of Midlothian, Virgina [...]

May 13, 2015

LPL Financial Fined $11.7M For ‘Widespread Supervisory Failures’

By |May 13th, 2015|Failure To Supervise, FINRA News, LPL, Non Traded Real Estate Investment Trust, Press Releases & News, REIT, Securities Law Violations, Variable Annuity|

FINRA ordered LPL Financial to pay $11.7 million in fines and restitution for what it called "widespread supervisory failures" pertaining to sales of complex products. According to the regulator authority, from 2007 to April 2015, LPL failed to adequately supervise sales of particular investments, such as exchange-traded funds, variable annuities, and nontraded real estate investment [...]

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