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LPL Fined Over Senior Designation on Business Cards

July 15, 2015

Massachusetts continues going after financial advisors who take advantage of seniors. On Tuesday, the state’s securities regulator fined LPL Financial $250,000 for approving brokers’ use of titles falsely suggesting expertise in dealing with senior clients, InvestmentNews reports.

William Galvin, Massachusetts’s secretary of the commonwealth, accused LPL of failing to supervise its brokers’ use of senior-specific designations on their business cards that didn’t meet the state’s senior-designations regulations, according to the newspaper. At least 10 brokers may have been using such titles, according to a statement from the regulator cited by InvestmentNews. At least one broker’s card was approved by LPL three times. None of the brokers have been named, according to the paper, while a spokesman for LPL released a statement saying the company is implementing “enhanced review procedures.”

The settlement comes less than a week after Galvin’s office charged Securities America and one of its advisors for using “bait and switch” tactics that involved deceptive Alzheimer’s information ads, as previously reported by the paper.

LPL has been in the crosshairs of regulators — and Galvin in particular — for the past few years. Late last year, LPL reimbursed $541,000 to seniors after Galvin went after the firm for failing to supervise fees charged to seniors when switching variable annuities, according to InvestmentNews. A few months prior to that charge, LPL was fined $2 million and ordered to pay $820,000 by the Illinois Securities Department in a settlement over inadequate bookkeeping of variable-annuity exchanges, the paper writes. And in December 2012, Galvin went after LPL for failing to supervise brokers selling non-traded REITs, reports the paper.

By Alex Padalka
  • To read the InvestmentNews article cited in this story, click here.