Investment fraud lawyers are currently investigating claims on behalf of the customers of First Midwest Securities Inc. and Scott & Stringfellow LLC in light of recent fines and censures by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Both firms were censured; in addition, First Midwest Securities was fined $75,000 and Scott & Stringfellow was fined $350,000. Both firms submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent but did not admit or deny FINRA’s findings.
In the case of First Midwest Securities, securities arbitration lawyers say FINRA’s findings indicated that the firm failed to provide an adequate supervisory system and enforce adequate supervisory procedures to prevent excessive trading and ensure the suitability of equity transactions. Furthermore, the firm allegedly failed to utilize exception reports that would help in detecting excessive and unsuitable trading. Instead, according to the allegations, the firm relied on turnover ratio reports and daily trade blotter reviews that were prepared manually. However, these reports failed to address accounts’ cost-to-equity ratios.
Investment fraud lawyers are also investigating claims against Scott & Stringfellow based on FINRA’s findings that indicated the firm failed to maintain an adequate supervisory system related to the sale of Non-Traditional ETFs, or Non-Traditional Exchange Traded Funds. In addition, the firm allegedly allowed the recommendation of a Non-Traditional ETF by its registered representatives to customers without performing adequate due diligence. FINRA stated that some of the firm’s customers received unsuitable recommendations of the investment. The firm’s supervisory system, according to FINRA, was not reasonably designed for compliance with applicable FINRA and NASD rules and did not provide adequate guidance, tools, or adequate formal training to educate the firm’s supervisors and registered representatives about these investments.