Tuesday, November 15, 2011
FINRA ordered Chase Investment Services Corporation to reimburse customers more than $1.9 million for losses incurred from recommending unsuitable sales of unit investment trusts (UITs) and floating rate loan funds. FINRA also fined Chase $1.7 million. FINRA's investigation found that Chase brokers recommended the purchase of UITs and floating rate loan funds to unsophisticated customers with little or no investment experience and conservative risk tolerances, without having reasonable grounds to believe that those products were suitable for the customers. FINRA also found that Chase failed to implement supervisory procedures to reasonably supervise its sales of UITs and floating rate loan funds.
FINRA found that Chase did not provide its brokers with sufficient training and guidance regarding the risks and suitability of UITs and floating-rate loan funds. Chase brokers made almost 260 unsuitable recommendations to purchase these UITs to customers with little or no investment experience and a conservative risk tolerance. The customers suffered losses of approximately $1.4 million as a result of investing in these unsuitable transactions.
FINRA's findings also include that WaMu Investments, Inc., which merged with Chase in July 2009, made recommendations to customers to purchase floating-rate loan funds that were not suitable for them, and that WaMu failed to provide adequate training and failed to reasonably supervise the sale of floating-rate loan funds to customers.