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27 Jun 2019

Amid rising regulatory costs, LPL settles Galvin’s latest case for $1.1M By Tobias Salinger

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Post by MoneyRadio Staff

LPL Financial botched required registrations and disclosures for several hundreds of its agents and reportable events over a six-year span, according to a prominent state regulator.

LPL agreed on June 25 to pay a fine of $1.1 million to settle allegations by Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth William Galvin’s office. The No. 1 independent broker-dealer failed to properly register 651 representatives and disclose 787 reportable events in a timely manner, the regulator says.

While LPL neither admitted nor denied the allegations, the firm did pledge to review its policies and procedures as part of an overhaul under the consent order settling the case. The firm’s regulatory expenses rose 22% year-over-year in the first quarter to $7.9 million.

LPL compliance spending

LPL and a North American Securities Administrators Association state task force led by Galvin reached a $26-million settlement in May 2018 about sales of unregistered securities. Founded in Boston in 1968, the firm has one of its three corporate headquarters in the city and more than 4,200 reps in the state.

“This is not the first time that we have had dealings with LPL, and I think that this case serves as an example that my Securities Division will continue to closely monitor those who have been found to be conducting securities business in Massachusetts without being registered,” Galvin said in a statement.

LPL also issued a statement on the latest settlement with Galvin’s office.

“We continue to enhance our controls around timeliness of regulatory reportings and licensing,” spokesman Jeffrey Mochal said. “This is part of our ongoing focus on effective risk management and compliance practices that protect our advisors and their investors.”

LPL’s violations occurred approximately between March 2013 and April 2019, according to the consent order. Out of the 651 representatives it didn’t register as agents, two-thirds served retail clients in the state and nearly one-third acted as supervisors to one or more reps, the document states.

The almost 800 reportable events the firm didn’t disclose to Galvin’s office on time included more than 450 judgments or liens, 200 client complaints, a dozen criminal events and nine terminations, investigators say. Companies must file them as amendments to Forms U4 and U5.

Late disclosure led to Galvin’s office approving new registrations with different firms for at least two former LPL advisors — even though each had pending client complaints alleging damages of more than $1 million, according to the document.

LPL filed one of the rep’s U5 amendments 46 days late and the other 303 days late, Galvin’s office says. Since LPL had yet to disclose the cases, regulators say they approved the advisors’ new registrations without knowing about them.

Tobias Salinger

Tobias Salinger is a senior editor for Financial Planning.

This article is suggested reading by Secured Financial Services, LLC and President and Chief Executive Officer of Secured Financial Solutions, LLC, Anil Vazirani. Please visit https://secured-financial-solutions.com/

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This article is suggested reading by Secured Financial Services, LLC and President and Chief Executive Officer of Secured Financial Solutions, LLC, Anil Vazirani. Please visit https://secured-financial-solutions.com/

Retire and Stay Retired Safe! Smart! Secure!

Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Secured Financial Solutions is one of the leading financial service firms in Arizona, catering to the financial planning needs of retirees and pre-retirees.

One of the benefits you can count on when working with one of our financial advisors is an outstanding personal relationship with an advisor. As a client, you will deal directly with a financial advisor who will take the time to understand your situation, objectives, estate planning, and retirement planning needs as well as your risk tolerance. We work directly with other advisors as well as CPAs, attorneys and trustees, to ensure that the investments we make will align with your estate plans and that you are not faced with heavy tax burdens.

You can expect Secured Financial Solutions to develop comprehensive solutions to your complex wealth management and estate planning needs. Our one-on-one approach helps you achieve your financial planning goals, including maximizing your estate, retirement planning, minimizing your tax obligation, and continuing your family legacy. Our investment advisors will work with your CPA, attorneys, and other trusted professionals to help you make intelligent choices that align with your financial and personal goals.