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Feb 4, 2019 by |

FINRA Levies Big Fines in 2018 for Unsuitable Annuities and More


FINRA Levies Big Fines in 2018 for Sales of Unsuitable Annuities and Other Misconduct

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) polices financial advisor fraud including recommendations of unsuitable annuities. The agency detected a disturbing trend of sales to consumers, including seniors, of unsuitable products and “largely unsupervised” inappropriate annuity exchanges. Some big fines in 2018 prove FINRA means what it says.  The Marin financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors financially exploited by insurance agents, financial advisors, and brokers selling unsuitable annuities, recommending inappropriate exchanges, making unauthorized trades, and other fraud.  If you or someone you know is over 60 and lives in California and is a victim of financial elder abuse or annuity or securities fraud, call us today at 415-441-8669. 

FINRA levied some record fines in 2018:

  • $6 million against Fifth Third Securities for recommending unsuitable variable annuity exchanges.
  • $5.5 million against Interactive Brokers for failing to supervise short sales in client accounts.
  • $2.75 million against LPL Financial for failing to report dozens of customer complaints.
  • $1.5 million against Wedbush Securities for failing to accurately calculate customer reserve requirements.
  • $5.3 million against Bank of China Financial Services for failing to detect suspicious money laundering transactions.
  • $5.9 million against Merrill Lynch for improper initial public offering transactions.
  • $5 million against UBS for failing to flag foreign currency transactions and monitor penny stock trades.
  • $10 million against Morgan Stanley Smith Barney for violations of anti-money laundering laws.

FINRA and State rules are meant to protect consumers, especially seniors, from sales of unsuitable investments and other fraud. When an insurance agent or financial advisor sells an unsuitable or inappropriate annuity to a senior or commits some other investment fraud on them, the conduct constitutes financial elder abuse under California.  If that has happened to you or a loved one, our attorneys can pursue all available remedies this kind of financial elder abuse.  California law provides restitution (getting your money back), extra damages (to punish the fraudulent conduct) and awards of attorneys’ fees and costs to the senior forced to bring an action against the wrongdoers. 

Contact Us

If you or a loved one been the victim of financial elder abuse or annuity fraud in Marin County, or in any California county, contact Ingrid M. Evans and the other Evans Law Firm annuity fraud attorneys at (415) 441-8669, or by email at <a href=””></a>. Our attorneys have experience with complex financial contracts and large insurance companies. We can help guide your case through a jury trial or toward an equitable settlement.  We handle cases involving physical and financial elder abuse, qui tam and whistleblower law, nursing home abuse, whole life insurance and universal life insurance, and indexed, variable, and fixed annuities.

Annuities and life insurance produce large sales commissions for insurance agents and brokers but are often inappropriate products for consumers, especially seniors. Leading providers and distributors of life insurance and fixed, variable and fixed indexed deferred annuities in California are listed below.  We are not in any way suggesting that any of these carriers or distributors has done anything wrong.  Rather, the list is provided solely as a reference for our readers.

AIG/American General Life Insurance Company

Allianz Life Insurance Company of North America

American Equity Investment Life Insurance Company

American General Life Insurance Company/AIG

American National Life Insurance Company

Ameriprise Financial/RiverSource Life Insurance Company

Ameriprise Financial/Securities America, Inc.

Athene Annuity & Life Assurance Company

Athene Annuity and Life Company

Athene USA

Aviva Life Insurance Company

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US

Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty Company

Berkshire Hathaway Group

Berkshire Hathaway Life Insurance Company of Nebraska

Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife

Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.

Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.

CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG Life Insurance Company

Delaware Life Insurance Company

EquiTrust Life Insurance Company

Fidelity & Guaranty Life Insurance Company

Forethought Life Insurance Company/Global Atlantic Financial Group

Genworth Financial, Inc.

Genworth Life and Annuity Insurance Company

Genworth Life Insurance Company

Global Atlantic Financial Group/Forethought Life Insurance Company

Guardian Life Insurance Company

Guggenheim Partners/Security Benefit Life Insurance Company

ING USA Annuity and Life Insurance Company

Jackson National Life Insurance Company

John Hancock Life Insurance Company

Lincoln Benefit Life Company

Lincoln Financial Group

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company

Merrill Lynch Life Agency Inc.

Metlife/Metropolitan Life Insurance Company/Brighthouse Financial, Inc.

Minnesota Life Insurance Company

National Life Group

National Life Insurance Company/Equity Services, Inc.

National Western Life Insurance Company

Nationwide Life Insurance Company

New York Life Insurance Company

North American Company for Life and Health Insurance

Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company

Oxford Life Insurance Company

Pacific Life Insurance Company

Principal Financial Group

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Raymond James Insurance Group

Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company/Tokio Marine Group

RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial

Securities America, Inc./Ameriprise Financial

Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners

The Standard Life Insurance Company

Symetra Financial Corporation

Symetra Life Insurance Company

Transamerica Life Insurance Company

Unum Life Insurance Company of America

USAA Life Insurance Company

Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company

Wells Fargo Advisors

Western & Southern Financial Group

The Western & Southern Life Insurance Company

 World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.

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