The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has fined six independent brokerage firms for not giving clients the proper discounts on big sales of business development companies and real estate investment trusts. According to InvestmentNews, the self-regulatory organization has been scrutinizing whether financial firms are giving the appropriate discounts, also known as breakpoint discounts to clients.
When the sale of certain nontraded real estate investment trusts is anywhere from over $500K up to $1 million, a discount is usually available. This means that the REIT’s price, which is typically at $10/share with the broker getting a 70 cent commission, can go down to $9.90/share and a commission of 60 cents.
FINRA said that J.P. Turner, Voya Financial Inc. (VOYA), Transamerica Financial Advisors Inc., Investacorp., National Planning Corp., and Cetera Investment Services did not identify and put into effect volume discounts for certain eligible purchase of BDCs and non-traded REITs. Because of this, said the SRO, customers paid sales charges that were too high. Now, all six firms will have to pay restitution to the clients that were affected.