Wells Fargo Advisors LLC Agrees to $1 Million FINRA Fine for Securities Charges Related to Mutual Fund Prospectus Delivery

FINRA is fining Wells Fargo Advisors LLC $1 million over the allegations that the financial firm did not deliver mutual fund prospectuses within the three days (as required by federal securities laws) and delays in the updating of material information about former and current representatives. Wells Fargo has agreed to the fine.

Per FINRA, about 934,000 clients who bought mutual funds two years ago were affected when Wells Fargo did not deliver prospectuses within three days of the transactions. Prospectuses were given to clients anywhere from one to 153 days late. The SRO contends that even after a 3rd provider notified the broker-dealer about the delay, Wells Fargo allegedly did not take corrective action to remedy the problem.

FINRA also says that the financial firm did not abide by the SRO’s rules when it wasn’t prompt in reporting required information about its representatives, both past and present. Securities firms must make sure that the information on their representatives’ applications for registration on Forms U4 are current in FINRA’s CRD (Central Registration Depository). Termination notices, known as Forms U5, must also be updated. Financial firms have 30 days from finding out about a “significant event” to update the forms. Examples of such events are customer complaints, formal investigations, or an arbitration claim against a representative. FINRA says that Wells Fargo did not update 7.6% of its Forms U5 and about 8% of its Forms U4 between 7/1/08 and 6/30/09. This resulted in almost 190 late amendments.

By agreeing to settle, Wells Fargo is not denying or admitting to the securities charges. The broker-dealer has, however, consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.

Related Web Resources:
FINRA Fines Wells Fargo Advisors $1 Million for Delays in Delivering Prospectuses to More Than 900,000 Customers, FINRA, May 5, 2011
FINRA fines Wells Fargo $1M for prospectus delays, Forbes/AP, May 5, 2011
CRD, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

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