Articles Tagged with Retirement Accounts

According to InvestmentNews, the Securities and Exchange Commission is looking at instances in which advisers have access to their clients’ financial accounts that they don’t manage. The SEC wants to make sure that these advisors are unable to take distributions from these accounts if they don’t have custody over them.

The SEC has been taking a closer look at custody since the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scam that bilked investors billions of dollars. Madoff was in control of most of his clients’ money.

In 2013, the regulator, seeking to stave off the next big investor scheme, noted that red flags were raised for 140 firms that were examined in 2012 because of they way they had access to or held the assets of clients. “Significant deficiencies” were found.
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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says that another five firms must pay restitution to specific retirement and charitable accounts for overcharging them for mutual funds. Edward D. Jones will pay $13.5M, Stifel Nicolaus (SF) will pay $2.9M, AXA Advisors will pay $600K, Janney Montgomery Scott will pay $1.2M, and Stephens Inc. will pay $15K.

The announcement comes just a few months after the self-regulatory organization fined five other firms over $30M for similar violations. Those firms were LPL Financial LLC (LPL), Raymond James Financial Services (RJF), Raymond James & Associates, Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network, LLC (WFC), and Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC. Due to their purported oversight, over 50,000 charitable organizations and retirement accounts ended up paying too much for their mutual fund shares.

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