Did you suffer investment losses with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith (CRD# 7691) (SEC# 801-14235, 8-7221)?
Galvin Legal, PLLC is launching an investigation on behalf of investors who may have suffered losses investing with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith. If you suffered losses investing with Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, then Galvin Legal, PLLC may be able to help you recover your losses in a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA“) arbitration claim.
As of April 4, 2020, Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith’s FINRA BrokerCheck Report contains the following:
566 Regulatory Event Disclosures
5 Civil Event Disclosures
873 Arbitration Disclosures
UPDATE 6/4/2020: FINRA announced today that it has ordered Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith to pay more than $7.2 million in restitution and interest to customers who incurred unnecessary sales charges and paid excess fees in connection with mutual fund transactions. The firm did not have supervisory systems and procedures reasonably designed to ensure that these customers, who collectively held more than 13,000 Merrill Lynch accounts, received available sales charge waivers and fee rebates.
UPDATE 4/11/2020: According to FINRA’s March 2020 Disciplinary Actions: “Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (CRD #7691, New York, New York) January 3, 2020 – An AWC was issued in which the firm was censured and fined $150,000. Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it executed municipal securities transactions with customers in an amount below an issue’s minimum denomination without an exception. The findings stated that the firm provided evidence to FINRA that it offered to rescind the transactions to all of the customers that continued to hold the position. The findings also stated that the firm failed to disclose to its customers all material facts concerning municipal securities transactions at or prior to the time of trade. Specifically, the firm failed to inform its customers, orally or in writing, that the municipal securities transactions were in an amount below the issue’s minimum denomination and that this may adversely affect the position’s liquidity. (FINRA Case #2016049250601)”
UPDATE 4/7/2020: According to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Merrill Lynch, Raymond James & Associates and Raymond James Financial Services have reportedly agreed to pay a combined $12 million in restitution to customers for alleged 529 savings plan violations. FINRA claims that Raymond James & Associates and Merrill Lynch failed to reasonably supervise 529 plan share-class recommendations, allegedly causing customers to pay excess fees on their investments. Raymond James & Associates has reportedly agreed to pay more than $3.8 million in restitution, while Raymond James Financial Services has reportedly agreed to pay $4.2 million, according to the AWC. Merrill Lynch has reportedly agreed to pay at least $4 million in restitution relating to the sale of Class C shares to 529 plan accounts with young beneficiaries.
UPDATE 11/30/16: Merrill Lynch has agreed to pay $7 million to settle FINRA charges that it failed to adequately supervise customers use of loan proceeds to buy risky Puerto Rico bonds. It will pay a $6.25 million fine and $780,000 in restitution to 22 clients.
UPDATE 9/27/16: According to the SEC, Merrill Lynch has agreed to pay $415 million and admit wrongdoing to settle charges that it misused customer cash to generate profits for the firm and failed to safeguard customer securities from the claims of its creditors.
Main Office Location
ONE BRYANT PARK
NEW YORK, NY 10036
NEW YORK, NY 10038
Business Telephone Number
Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith’s Direct Owners and Executive Officers
BAC NORTH AMERICA HOLDING COMPANY, SHAREHOLDER
ALAM, SYED FARUQE (CRD#:2394838), CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER
BANKS, KEITH THOMAS (CRD#:2460880), DIRECTOR
GRECO, GLORIA REGINA (CRD#:4795234), CHIEF COMPLIANCE OFFICER
GUARDINO, JOSEPH ANTHONY JR (CRD#:2907957), CHIEF OPERATIONS OFFICER & FINOP
HANS, LINDSAY DENARDO (CRD#:4429443), STATE DESIGNATED PRINCIPAL
HEATON, DAVID CARLETON JR (CRD#:5972432), CHIEF LEGAL OFFICER
HILL, KIRSTIN NILSSON (CRD#:3276506), STATE DESIGNATED PRINCIPAL
LEVINE, ARON DANIEL (CRD#:4715408), DIRECTOR
SABBIA, LORNA ROSE (CRD#:1873495), DIRECTOR
SIEG, ANDREW MASON (CRD#:4218535), DIRECTOR; CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER; STATE DESIGNATED PRINCIPAL
Due Diligence Requirement
FINRA requires broker-dealers to conduct due diligence on investments and to conduct a suitability analysis when recommending securities to a customer that takes into account the customer’s knowledge and experience. FINRA Rule 2111(a) states that “a member or an associated person must have a reasonable basis to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy involving a security or securities is suitable for the customer, based on the information obtained through the reasonable diligence of the member or associated person to ascertain the customer’s investment profile. A customer’s investment profile includes, but is not limited to, the customer’s age, other investments, financial situation and needs, tax status, investment objectives, investment experience, investment time horizon, liquidity needs, risk tolerance, and any other information the customer may disclose to the member or associated person in connection with such recommendation.”
Rule 2111 is composed of three main obligations: reasonable-basis suitability, customer-specific suitability, and quantitative suitability. Broker-Dealers that fail to conduct adequate due diligence on investments they recommend or that make unsuitable recommendations can be held responsible for the customer’s losses in a FINRA arbitration claim.
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