LPL Financial Fires Texas Branch Manager Over Selling Away Claims, Settles with Senior Investors in Massachusetts for $541,000 Over Faulty Variable Annuity Switches
According to his report on the central registration depository, LPL Financial (LPLA) branch manager James Bashaw was fired last month for allegedly engaging in selling away, which involves taking part in private securities transactions without written disclosure or approval from a brokerage firm, as well as borrowing from a client and taking part in a business transaction that created a possible conflict, again without obtaining the necessary firm approval or written disclosure.
Bashaw, also known as “Jeb” Bashaw, is considered one of the leading financial advisers in Texas. Barron's magazine ranks him as number one in the state with assets totaling $3.8 billion.
According to Investment News, while the CRD, which is the central licensing and registration system for the securities industries and regulators, provided these details regarding Bashaw’s termination, LPL has not elaborated, except to report on his BrokerCheck profile that the broker did not follow industry regulations and firm policies. Bashaw is now registered with Wunderlich Securities Inc.
In other LPL Financial news, the firm has reached a deal with Massachusetts regulators in which it will pay back elderly investors over $500,000 to resolve complaints related to switching variable annuities. The broker-dealer has admitted that certain annuity-switch transactions were performed without disclosing that there were fees for surrendering or cashing in the annuity.
Annuity switching occurs when a broker recommends that a client trade in an older annuity to purchase another one. Frequently, this can cost a customer while benefiting the financial representative.
The agreement with Massachusetts Secretary of State William Galvin’s office covers 157 transactions involving senior investors in the state. LPL reportedly now has new policies in place to make sure that customers get the mandated disclosures when there are transaction fees.
LPL Financial to reimburse annuity-switching fees to investors, Reuters, October 14, 2014
Selling away claims behind LPL's termination of James "Jeb" Bashaw, Investment News, October 13, 2014
LPL Financial to pay back $541,000, Boston Globe, October 14, 2014
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