The NASD fined four firms for mutual fund sales violations and for failures to properly supervise such sales. The fine amounts are $473,000 against MML Investors Services, Inc., $354,000 against NYLIFE Securities LLC, $322,000 against Securities America, Inc. and $100,000 against Northwestern Mutual Investment Services.
The violations charged include sales of Class B and Class B shares, causing investors not to receive the benefits of price breaks on Class A shares, failures to properly notify clients of available cost free transfers from one mutual fund to another at the funds’ net asset values and failure to have adequate supervisory systems and procedures to prevent such violations.
In resolving the case, MML and Northwestern must also pay their clients who qualified for, but did not receive, the net asset transfer benefits and pay refunds to those who did not benefit from the price breaks. Including the refunds already paid, it is estimated that thousands of clients of these two firms will receive a total of more than $6.5 million.
“The cases announced today are the result of NASD’s continuing commitment to help ensure that sales of mutual funds – the investment product most commonly held by investors – are made appropriately and with the benefit of full consideration of all available share classes and pricing features,” said the NASD’s Head of Enforcement. Each firm consented to the sanctions without admitting or denying the allegations.
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