Articles Posted in Waiver and Consent (AWC’s)

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Fifth Third Securities

Public records provided by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on May 10, 2018 indicate that Ohio-based brokerage and advisory firm Fifth Third Securities was recently sanctioned by FINRA in connection to alleged rule violations. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Fifth Third Securities (CRD# 628).

Founded in Ohio in 1925, Fifth Third Securities is headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and registered wth 52 US states and territories. According to the firm’s BrokerCheck report, it has received 36 regulatory sanctions and 19 customer complaints that evolved into arbitration.

In May 2018 FINRA sanctioned Fifth Third Securities in connection to allegations it failed to “appropriately consider and accurately describe the costs and benefits of variable annuity (VA) exchanges,” as well as for recommending variable annuity exchanges in the absence of a reasonable basis to believe such transactions were suitable for the customers in question. Fifth Third Securities failed to ensure that its representatives obtained and evaluated “accurate information” regarding the exchanges that it recommended to its customers, according to FINRA. The firm also allegedly did not adequately train its representatives and principals in proper methods for conducting a “comparative analysis of the material features” of variable annuity products. As a result, according to FINRA, Fifth Third Securities ultimately made inaccurate statements regarding the transactions’ costs and benefits, presenting them as better for the customer than they actually were.

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Cambridge Investment ResearchPublic records published by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and accessed on May 10, 2018 indicate that Iowa-based brokerage firm Cambridge Investment Research was recently sanctioned by FINRA in connection to alleged rule violations. Fitapelli Kurta is interested in hearing from investors who have complaints regarding Cambridge Investment Research (CRD# 39543).

Founded in 1995, Cambridge Investment Research is headquartered in Fairfield, Iowa and registered with 52 US states and territories. According to the firm’s BrokerCheck report, it has received nine regulatory sanctions and two customer complaints that evolved into arbitration.

In May 2018 FINRA sanctioned the firm following allegations it failed to establish, maintain and enforce an adequately designed supervisory system in connection to redemptions of variable annuity and non-traditional exchange-traded fund products. FINRA found that in about 100 instances, firm clients redeemed variable annuity products and transferred the funds to an advisory account, and that firm personnel were involved in and additionally recommended some of these transactions despite the lack of systematic supervision or written procedures governing them. FINRA found as well that the firm did not determine which transactions were recommended by the personnel and were consequently subject to FINRA suitability rules. According to FINRA, 84 firm representatives participated in the trading of non-traditional ETF products in retail customer accounts, executing 4,773 transactions for a total of about $127 million, though the firm failed to enforce its written supervisory procedures regarding non-traditional ETF trades. For instance, per FINRA, the firm permitted representatives to execute the trades before the signed a form attesting they completed a 45 minute training session, as required by the WSPs; additionally, the firm allegedly permitted “many customers” to buy non-traditional ETFs before they had submitted a disclosure form that was required by firm rules.