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Morgan Stanley Fined by FINRA

Securities fraud attorneys are currently investigating claims on behalf of customers of Morgan Stanley and other full-service brokerage firms regarding the sales of bonds and other securities. In some cases, full service brokerage firms may have failed to provide fair and reasonable prices or best execution in some customer transactions involving municipal bonds, corporate bonds, agency bonds or other securities.

According to a FINRA news release, on August 22, 2013, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority fined Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC and Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC for failure to provide reasonable prices in certain municipal bond customer transactions and failure to provide best execution in certain corporate and agency bond customer transactions. The firms were fined $1 million and ordered to pay restitution and interest in the amount of $188,000, above and beyond what Morgan Stanley has already paid. Stock fraud lawyers say Morgan Stanley did not admit or deny the FINRA charges.

Reportedly, the violations affected 116 corporate and agency bond customer transactions and 165 municipal bond customer transactions.

“FINRA found that Morgan Stanley failed to use reasonable diligence to ensure that the purchase or sale price to the customer was as favorable as possible under current market conditions,” the FINRA statement reads. “Morgan Stanley failed to purchase or sell bonds at prices reasonably related to the fair market value of the subject security.”

According to securities fraud attorneys, there may be many other customers of Morgan Stanley or other full-service brokerage firms that did not receive fair pricing or best execution in bonds or other securities.

“Firms must ensure that customers who buy and sell securities — including corporate, agency and municipal bonds — receive execution prices that are consistent with prices available in the marketplace,” notes FINRA’s Executive Vice President of Market Regulation Thomas Gira.

If your full-service brokerage firm has a history of best execution and fair pricing violations and your investments were affected, you may be eligible for reimbursement. To find out more about your legal rights and options, contact a stock fraud lawyer at Law Office of Christopher J. Gray, P.C.  at (866) 966-9598 for a no-cost, confidential consultation.

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