FINRA Fines Oriental Financial Services for Failing to Supervise Puerto Rico Bond Fund Investments

Oriental Financial Services Corp. (Oriental) was fined $245,000 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for failing to maintain a proper supervisory system to comply with Federal securities laws, namely, that its supervisory system failed to identify and review concentrated purchases of Puerto Rico municipal bonds and closed-end funds; and failing to disclose on customer confirmations the markups and markdowns for riskless principal transactions in Puerto Rico closed-end funds. Without admitting or denying the findings, Oriental consented to FINRA’s sanctions and findings that if failed to disclose approximately $2.9 million in markups and markdowns on customer trade confirmations. According to FINRA, Oriental’s registered representatives continued selling the municipal bonds and closed-end funds even after the municipal bond rating had been downgraded to junk status. Consequently, Oriental Financial Services has agreed to submit to FINRA the procedure of how it intends to properly identify, review and correct any unsuitable, concentrated Puerto Rico bond purchases.

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