FINRA Continues Fines on Sales of Unsuitable L Share Annuities
Variable annuities are sold as B-share and L-share contracts. B-share annuities are the more common and sold to investors with long-term investment horizons. B-shares typically have lengthy surrender charge periods. L Share Variable Annuities are a type of variable annuity where the surrender charge period under the contract is shortened to three or four years but administrative fees and mortality expense rates are higher. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) believes L Share annuities are unsuitable for certain investors, particularly those with long-term investment horizons and levies fines against brokers for recommending them. This past week FINRA again censured an investment advisory firm for failure to establish and enforce adequate supervisory procedures in connection with the sale of L-share variable annuities by its representatives. FINRA found the firm had sold a large number of L-share variable annuities to policyholders who would have been better off with lower-fee B-share contracts.
The Marin annuity and financial elder abuse attorneys at Evans Law Firm, Inc. represent consumers, especially seniors, who suffer losses from high fees, surrender penalties and taxes, on unsuitable annuities including L-share variable annuities. If you or a loved has suffered a surrender penalty or tax loss on an annuity surrender or paid high fees for an unsuitable policy, including on L Share annuities, call the Marin and California annuities, securities and financial elder abuse lawyers today at Evans Law Firm, Inc. (415)441-8669 for a free review of the terms of your annuity including surrender provisions.
FINRA has really stepped up enforcement of the agency’s suitability rules when it comes to annuity sales, particularly with respect to L-Share variable annuities. Late last year, FINRA fined one firm $400,000 for failing to mandate and enforce its own supervisory procedures, resulting in sales of unsuitable L-share variable annuities tied to long-term riders. When combined with long-term riders, such as Guaranteed Minimum Income Benefit Riders, a high-fee, short-term L-share contract will get stretched to five years or longer for the holder to obtain benefits. That means the carrier can charge you more in the way of fees and keep your money longer, defeating the idea behind short-term L-Share contracts. FINRA also determined the advisory firm failed to properly train its representatives to ensure they understood variable annuities and suitability considerations.
If you or a loved one been sold an unsuitable annuity contact in Marin County or elsewhere in California, contact annuity and financial elder abuse attorney Ingrid M. Evans and other attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669 for a free consultation, 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 FINRA arbitration, 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
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.
 Evans Law Firm, Inc. was not involved in either of the cases mentioned in this blog in any way.