FINRA Troubled by Recommendations of Unsuitable Annuities
Over-Concentration in Annuities
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) polices advisor recommendations of investment products including annuities. The agency recently reported a disturbing trend of advisor recommendations of variable annuities in particular as unsuitable products for certain consumers. The agency also spotted “largely unsupervised” recommendations of inappropriate annuity exchanges. Such advisor misconduct can cause severe economic harm particularly for seniors. The San Francisco financial elder abuse and annuity attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent seniors financially exploited by brokers and advisors selling unsuitable annuities or recommending inappropriate exchanges. 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 of any type in San Francisco or elsewhere in California, call us today at 415-441-8669.
FINRA specifically called out over-concentration and variable annuity recommendations as conflicting with its suitability standards. Some brokers, the agency found, recommend complicated investments to clients who may not understand them and disregard the client’s financial situation, risk tolerance, and liquidity needs, among other concerns. Similarly, FINRA found that in recommending exchanges of existing annuities, some advisors ignore the increased fees and loss of material benefits experienced by clients or concealed the source of funds used to buy new annuities, which may have created unfavorable tax consequences for investors. The agency noted that annuities are high-commission products, causing some brokers to exchange them for a monetary gain even though the exchange was detrimental to the client.
In our experience representing financially exploited seniors, annuities and life insurance are not the answer to anxiety over future income levels. While our lawyers do not provide investment or tax advice, we have seen too many seniors lose money when their funds are tied up in expensive annuities and any withdrawal is subject to penalties and taxes. When an advisor sells an unsuitable or inappropriate annuity to a senior, the broker’s conduct may constitute financial elder abuse. 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.
If you or a loved one been the victim of financial elder abuse or annuity fraud in Alameda 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=”mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org”>email@example.com</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 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
Aviva Life Insurance Company
AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company/AXA US
Bankers Life Insurance and Casualty Company
Brighthouse Financial, Inc./MetLife
Citigroup Global Markets, Inc.
Crump Life Insurance Services, Inc.
CUNA Mutual Group/CMFG 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 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
RiverSource Life Insurance Company/Ameriprise Financial
Securities America, Inc./Ameriprise Financial
Security Benefit Life Insurance Company/Guggenheim Partners
Symetra Life Insurance Company
Transamerica Life Insurance Company
Unum Life Insurance Company of America
Voya/Reliastar Life Insurance Company
Wells Fargo Advisors
World Financial Group Insurance Agency, Inc.