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Salomon Whitney Fined By FINRA For Failure To Supervise ETF Sales

Salomon Whitney LLC of Farmingdale, New York consented to, but did not admit to or deny, the described sanctions and to the entry of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) findings that it failed to establish a supervisory system with regard to the sale of non-traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs), including leveraged, inverse and inverse-leveraged ETFs. FINRA’s findings stated that despite the risks involved with holding non-traditional ETFs for longer time periods, numerous Moloney Securities customers held the ETFs for extended periods. Some even allegedly held the ETFs for several months. FINRA found that Moloney Securities failed to adequately train its registered representatives and supervisors with respect to the features, characteristics, and the risks involved with non-traditional ETFs, especially the risks associated with longer-term holds of the ETFs. According to FINRA, Salomon Whitney made unsuitable ETF recommendations and failed to conduct an adequate suitability analysis of the non-traditional ETFs before offering them to its customers. Consequently, Salomon Whitney was censured and fined $30,000.

Much like stocks, ETFs are investment funds that are traded on stock exchanges. An ETF holds assets such as stocks, commodities, or bonds, and trades close to its net asset value over the course of the trading day. Most ETFs track an index, such as a stock index or bond index and are attractive investments because of their low costs, tax efficiency, and stock-like features. By owning an ETF, investors benefit from the diversification of an index fund as well as the ability to purchase as little as one share. In addition, expense ratios for most ETFs are lower than those of the average mutual fund. When buying and selling ETFs, investors pay the same commission to their brokers that they would pay on any regular stock order. Leveraged and inverse exchange traded funds are designed to magnify short-term returns of a fund’s underlying assets by a factor of 2 or more. They employ derivatives and are generally considered to be unsuitable for ordinary buy-and-hold investors.

Broker-dealers must establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system and to protect customers from the risks associated with investing. In order to protect customers from broker misconduct, FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system. The implementation of the rules requires supervisors to monitor its employees to ensure compliance with federal and state securities laws, securities industry rules and regulations, as well as the brokerage firm’s own policies and procedures. If broker-dealers and their supervisors fail to establish and implement these protective measures, they may be held liable to account holders for losses stemming from their employees’ misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses due to a brokerage firm’s inadequate supervision can bring forth claims to recover damages against firms like Salomon Whitney, which have a duty to supervise employees in order to protect their customers’ interests.

Have you suffered losses in an exchange-traded fund sold to you by your Salomon Whitney broker? If so, call Robert Pearce at the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. for a free consultation. Mr. Pearce is accepting clients with valid claims against Salomon Whitney stockbrokers for unsuitable recommendations, misrepresentations, and/or other fraudulent and illegal conduct.

The most important of investors’ rights is the right to be informed! This Investors’ Rights blog post is by the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., located in Boca Raton, Florida. For over , Attorney Pearce has tried, arbitrated, and mediated hundreds of disputes involving complex securities, commodities and investment law issues. The lawyers at our law firm are devoted to protecting investors’ rights throughout the United States and internationally! Please visit our website, www.secatty.com, post a comment, call (800) 732-2889, or email Mr. Pearce at pearce@rwpearce.com for answers to any of your questions about this blog post and/or any related matter.