UBS AG and Entities
A global financial firm headquartered in Switzerland, UBS AG (UBS) has tens of thousands of employees in dozens of countries, including the United States. Founded in 1862 as Bank in Winterthur, UBS AG has since undergone numerous iterations and mergers that have included 370 financial firms.
Its worldwide business involves wealth management, asset management, investment banking, personal banking, and global banking. The firm’s brokers and investment advisors work with retail investors, retirees, high-net-worth individual investors, institutional investors, and corporate clients.UBS AG and Entities Come Under Scrutiny
Over the years, UBS AG and its different entities, including UBS Financial Services, UBS Wealth Management, UBS Securities, and others, have come under scrutiny. There was the financial firm's role in the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis. There was also the 2011 rogue trader scandal that resulted in a more than $2B loss from unauthorized trading.
More recently, there was UBS AG’s financial advisors’ aggressive selling of Puerto Rico bonds and closed-end bond funds to investors and its brokers’ recommendation of the UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy (UBS YES) that has since cost wealthy customers millions of dollars in losses.
For over 30 years, our savvy securities fraud attorneys at Shepherd Smith Edwards and Kantas (SSEK Law Firm at investorlawyers.com) have zealously represented investors against UBS AG. We help investors pursue financial recovery and recoup investment losses sustained because of broker misconduct or negligence. Contact SSEK Law Firm at (800) 259-9010 today.UBS Yield Enhancement Strategy Costs Investors Over $1B
Introduced by UBS AG brokers to high-net-worth investors in 2015, this options overlay strategy was marketed as a low-risk strategy that would allow customers to earn a modest income. Instead, investor losses have exceeded over $1B while the firm and its brokers, who marketed and sold UBS YES, made over $100M each year.
Many investors have filed arbitration claims through Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) arbitration. SSEK Law Firm is representing a number of these claimants, including two Maryland investors who, in August 2021, were awarded $400K for their losses.UBS AG and Its Role Selling Puerto Rico Bonds
Thousands of investors, including many retail investors, retirees, and small business owners, decided to back Puerto Rico bond funds and closed-end bond funds at the recommendation of their brokerage firms.
When these bonds plunged in value in 2013, many of these investors sustained devastating losses.
UBS AG was considered one of the main firm offenders. There is strong evidence that the broker-dealer encouraged its registered representatives to get clients to borrow money to invest in the US territory's bonds.
This was against the firm’s own policies. The Puerto bonds went on to become a huge moneymaker for the brokerage firm. In 2015, UBS Wealth Management Americas agreed to pay $34M in fines and restitution to settle allegations by FINRA and the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
These fines were related to the broker-dealer’s sale of Puerto Rico municipal bonds to customers and its lack of proper supervision over these transactions. SSEK Law Firm has successfully worked with investors in Puerto Rico and the mainland to recover their bond fund and closed-end bond fund losses.Some Other Recent Major Regulatory & Investigative Claims Involving UBS
- July 2021: Paying over $8M, UBS Financial Services settled an SEC action over purported compliance failures involving a volatility-linked exchange-traded product (ETP).
- July 2020: UBS AG agreed to pay more than $10M to settle SEC charges that it improperly allocated certain municipal bond offers that should have been directed to retail investors first.
- October 2019: FINRA announced that UBS Financial was censured and fined $2M for repeated failures related to timely addressing municipal short positions, as well as for misrepresenting the tax status of interest payments to customers.
- November 2018: The US government sued UBS Group claiming it defrauded the investors to whom it sold residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) in the period leading up to the 2008 economic crisis. The Justice Department contends that UBS misled investors about more than $41B of risky mortgage loans, including subprime loans that backed dozens of securities offerings in 2006 and 2007.
- March 2015: Under investigation at the time over whether it manipulated foreign exchange rates, UBS AG settled a related class-action securities lawsuit brought by pension funds and other investors for $135M.
Over the years, SSEK Law Firm has successfully pursued damages from UBS AG on behalf of many investors. We are experienced securities lawyers with the knowledge, resources, and skills to go after the largest brokerage firms in the US. Through FINRA arbitration, mediation, and litigation, we have helped thousands of investors to recover many millions of dollars.
Call (800) 259-9010 or contact us online to request your free, no-obligation case consultation.