A FINRA arbitration panel ordered UBS Group AG’s wealth management business for the Americas to pay over $470,000 to three investors who claimed damages because their accounts were over-concentrated in Puerto Rico bonds that plummeted. The investors–Obdulio Melendez Ramos, Ramon Velez Garcia and Carlos L. Merced–filed the arbitration in 2014 and sought up to $570,243 in damages, alleging fraud and negligent supervision.
“Although the arbitrators awarded less than the full damages the claimants requested, UBS is disappointed with the decision to award any damages, with which we respectfully disagree,” said Gregg Rosenberg, a spokesman for UBS. “The decision in this case was based on the facts and circumstances particular to these particular claimants, and is not indicative of how other panels may rule with regard to other customers who invested in similar products,” he said.
Damages related to Puerto Rico’s distressed debt were among the litigation matters outlined in the Swiss bank’s financial supplement for its fourth-quarter earnings results. The supplement showed that since August 2013, declines in the price of Puerto Rico municipal bonds and related funds managed and distributed by UBS have led to regulatory inquiries, customer complaints and arbitrations with claimed damages totaling $1.5 billion.
About $284 million of claims were resolved through settlements or arbitration, according to the supplement.If you or someone you know has lost money as a result of an investment or Ponzi scheme, please contact Richard Frankowski at 888-741-7503 to discuss your potential legal remedies or complete the contact form.