During October 2014, LPL Financial agreed to reimburse nearly $550,000 to investors to resolve a Massachusetts claim that LPL had allowed its brokers to engage in “annuity switching” in the accounts of senior investors. “Annuity switching” means that a broker advises an investor to sell one annuity in order to purchase another for no legitimate reason, which often results in significant fees and/or commissions being incurred by the customer.
In an agreement with the Massachusetts Securities Division,, LPL Financial admitted that certain annuity switch transactions were conducted without fully disclosed surrender charges. LPL had previously been investigated by the State of Illinois for similar practices. The Massachusetts case reportedly involved 157 variable annuity switching transactions.
In the course of 2014, LPL Financial has already been fined for various supervisory issues. In March FINRA fined LPL Financial $950,000 for supervisory issues related to the sale of alternative investment products, REITs, oil and gas partnerships, hedge funds and other illiquid investments. Earlier this summer, Illinois regulators ordered LPL Financial to pay a $2 million fine and $820,000 in restitution for failing to maintain accurate records related to variable annuity exchanges, also known as 1035 exchanges.
If you have suffered significant losses as a result of violations of securities industry standards by a brokerage firm or financial advisor, you may have a valid securities arbitration claim. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact an attorney at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C. at (866) 966-9598 or firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-cost, confidential consultation.