UBS Group AG (UBS) has agreed to pay more than $15 million to settle claims brought by the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC). The SEC claimed that UBS’s failure to properly train brokers led to customers buying hundreds of millions of dollars of unsuitable investments.
According to the SEC, UBS sold about $548 million dollars of “reverse convertible notes” between 2011 and 2014 to more than 8,700 unsophisticated and relatively inexperienced customers.
The notes were sold to investors who did not have significant disposable income, many of whom had a low risk tolerance. In other cases, brokers sold these notes to retirees. UBS’s reverse convertible notes were designed to offer attractive yields and a lower risk of loss, but the training provided by UBS to its employees focused on describing its upside – to the exclusion of any focus on volatility.
Although many of the products sold performed fairly well due to the rising stock market, the SEC brought the action because it felt that the securities were unsuitable for many of the investors, who were not in a position to invest in potentially volatile securities.
UBS’s payout includes a $6 million civil fine, $8.23 million in improper gains and nearly $800,000 in interest.
Have you invested with UBS?
The attorneys at Dimond Kaplan & Rothstein, P.A. have recovered more than $100 million from banks and brokerage firms for their wrongful actions.
If you believe you have invested in securities that don’t fit your risk tolerance, or if you have lost money investing in volatile securities where your broker failed to disclose the risks involved, you may have certain legal rights that require your immediate attention.
Contact us to schedule an appointment or consultation today.