According to New Hampshire securities regulators, UBS Financial Services Inc., a unit of UBS AG, misled investors regarding complex securities that were issued by Lehman Brothers before the latter filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008. The Bureau of Securities Regulation says investors were misled when the representatives for the UBS unit told them that the securities were safe, while failing to let them know that Lehman Brothers was in trouble. The state regulators are also accusing UBS of failing to properly supervise the employees that sold the structured products and of engaging in improper sales practices.
Some 42 New Hampshire investors could lose more than $2.5 million from securities underwritten by Lehman Brothers. State regulators have filed a cease-and-desist order against UBS and they are seeking an unspecified sum from the financial firm.
UBS disputes the Bureau of Securities Regulation’s allegations. The investment bank claims it didn’t do anything improper when it sold the Lehman products to UBS clients and that its employees engaged in the proper sales practices, followed all regulatory guidelines, abided by client disclosure guidelines, as well as followed firm procedures and industry regulations. The investment bank contends that any losses experienced by investors occurred because Lehman Brothers failed unexpectedly. UBS vows to combat the New Hampshire regulators’ allegations.
Already, a number of investors have filed claims against Lehman Brothers. Last year, with $613 billion in debt, Lehman filed the largest bankruptcy in US history. Globally, the collapse of Lehman Brothers resulted in investor losses worth billions of dollars. Many clients have blamed lenders for failing to warn them that Lehman was in trouble.
Meantime, Credit Suisse has offered to pay $140.7 million to compensate more than 3,700 of its retail clients for their Lehman financial products that now have no value.
Securities Fraud Attorney Sam Edwards, partner of the law firm of Shepherd Smith Edwards & Kantas LTD LLP says: “While many smaller investors into Auction Rate Securities have now been paid, our firm is representing a number of larger investors, many of whom have millions of dollars that have been frozen for more than a year. Many of these are business which have been crippled by the loss of liquidity of these funds and are seeking resulting business losses.”
Related Web Resources:
UBS says will fight New Hampshire Lehman case, Reuters, June 4, 2009
UBS Sold Unsuitable Lehman Securities, New Hampshire Alleges, Bloomberg.com, June 4, 2009
Bureau of Securities Regulation
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