The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is fining UBS Financial Services, Inc. $2.5 million and ordering it to pay $8.25 million in restitution for allegedly misleading investors about the “principal protection” feature of 100% Principal-Protection Notes. Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc. issued the PPNs Holdings Inc. before it filed for bankruptcy in 2008.
FINRA contends that even as the credit crisis was getting worse, between March and June 2008 UBS advertised and described the notes as investments that were principal-protected while failing to make sure clients knew that they PPNs were unsecured obligations of Lehman and that the principal protection feature was subject to issuer credit risk. UBS also allegedly failed to:
• Properly notify its financial advisers of the impact the widening of credit default swaps was having on Lehman’s financial strength
• Sufficiently analyze how appropriate the Lehman-issued PPNs were for certain clients
• Set up a proper supervisory system for the sale of the Lehman-issued PPNs
• Provide proper training or appropriate written supervisory procedures and policies
• Provide adequate suitability procedures for determining who should invest
FINRA also says that UBS developed and used advertising collateral about the PPNs that misled certain clients, such as the suggestion that a return of principal was certain as long as clients held the product until it matured. FINRA claims that the reason that some UBS financial advisers gave incorrect information to customers was because they themselves didn’t fully understand the product.
FINRA says that because UBS’s suitability procedures were inadequate and certain PPN’s lacked risk profile requirements, the product was sold to investors who were not willing or shouldn’t have been allowed to take on the risks involved. More often than not it was these investors who were likely to depend on the Lehman PPNs’ “100% principal protection” feature that were “risk averse.”
By agreeing to settle, UBS is not denying or admitting to the charges.
Related Web Resources:
FINRA Fines UBS Financial Services $2.5 Million; Orders UBS to Pay Restitution of $8.25 Million for Omissions That Effectively Misled Investors in Sales of Lehman-Issued 100% Principal-Protection Notes, FINRA, April 11, 2011
UBS to shell out $10.75M to settle Lehman-related row, Investment News, April 11, 2011
More Blog Posts:
UBS to Pay $2.2M to CNA Financial Head for Lehman Brothers Structured Product Losses, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, January 4, 2011
UBS Must Pay Couple $530,000 for Lehman Brothers-Backed Structured Notes, Institutional Investors Securities Blog, November 5, 2010
Lehman Brothers’ “Structured Products” Investigated by Stockbroker Fraud Law Firm Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP, Stockbroker Fraud Blog, September 30, 2008
Our securities fraud lawyers represent institutional and individual investors with stockbroker fraud claims against UBS and other financial firms. Contact Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP today.