Published on:

WFG Fined for Supervisory Failures

WFG Investments, Inc. of Dallas, Texas submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent to the Department of Enforcement of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for allegedly failing to apply sales charge discounts to curtain customers’ eligible purchases of Unit investment Trusts (UITs). WFG was subject to a similar FINRA complaint in December 2014 which alleged the firm failed to supervise a representative in connection with false statements received by clients.

A UIT is a type of Investment Company that issues securities, typically called “units,” representing undivided interests in a fixed portfolio of securities. UIT units are redeemable securities that are issued for a specific term, and entitle an investor to receive his or her proportionate share of the UIT’s net assets on redemption or at termination. One way to reduce the sales fee charged on a UIT purchase is through “breakpoints” which reduce client fees based on the amount they invested.

From May 1, 2009 to April 30, 2014, FINRA alleges WFG failed to apply sales charge discounts to 365 eligible UIT purchases resulting in customers paying excessive sales charges of approximately $68,975. In addition, FINRA alleges WFG failed to establish, maintain and enforce a supervisory system and written supervisory procedures reasonably designed to ensure that customers received sales charge discounts on all eligible UIT purchases in violation of NASD Conduct Rule 3010 and FINRA Rule 2010. Without admitting or denying the FINRA findings, WFG agreed to the sanctions and was ordered to pay a $65,000 fine and ordered to pay $75,563.62 in restitution to its customers.

FINRA rules require brokerage firms to establish and implement a reasonable supervisory system to protect customers from the risks associated with investing. The implementation of the rules requires supervisors to monitor their 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 investment losses which stem from their employees’ misconduct. Therefore, investors who have suffered losses due to a brokerage firm’s failure to supervise the unsuitable recommendations of its representatives can bring forth claims to recover damages against firms, like WFG Investments, which have a duty to supervise employees in order to protect their customers’ interests.

Have you suffered losses in your WFG Investments account due to any broker misconduct? 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 WFG Investments stockbrokers who may have engaged in misconduct and caused investors losses.

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 35 years, 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.