Fraudulent Financial Services
Bank Fraud – Insurance and Annuity Sales Sold Through Banks
Annuities Aren’t For Everyone
While annuities may seem like a smart investment because of the future income stream they provide, they are not an appropriate investment for all bank customers. A conflict of interest occurs for bank employees and agents who are paid handsome commissions for selling these products. The financial incentive is enticing for these professionals, but may result in annuities being marketed and sold to the wrong customers.
Annuities are often marketed as “safe” compared to other types of investments. In reality, annuities are complicated financial products that should be reviewed in detail to ensure the purchaser is aware of the benefits and risks associated with these types of investments. If you purchased an annuity contract, did you read the fine print? Were all associated costs, early surrender fees and restrictions on withdrawals made clear to you before you signed on the dotted line?
How are Banks Selling Annuities?
Most financial institutions, including banks, sell a number of financial products to their bank customers. Some banks or their agents, however, have engaged in unscrupulous conduct in selling products that do not match the purchasers needs or without adequate disclosure of the products’ features, risks and costs. This fraud has occurred with seniors whom are convinced by a bank agent to purchase a long-term financial product called deferred annuity. These products often are inappropriate for seniors due to the deferred annuities’ surrender charges or other penalties, which would severely restrict a senior’s access to funds. Additionally, the contracts tend to see written in a very confusing manner, making it difficult to know about the policy’s true features, risks and costs.
Ingrid Evans and the Evans Law Firm are dedicated to helping senior and elder victims of bank annuity sales through lawsuits brought against banking and insurance companies that take advantage of senior and elder adults.
Bank Annuity Sales Lawsuits
Fox 8 News I-Team reporter, Lorrie Taylor, tells the story of one woman who signed on the dotted line and locked herself into a deal she could not escape.
Does This Story Sound Familiar to You?
The following lawsuit was brought against AIG Annuity Insurance Co. (American General and Washington Mutual). The plaintiff alleged unlawful business practices, false and misleading advertising, breach of the implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, fraudulent concealment, negligence, breach of fiduciary duty, and elder abuse. The following story was based on the allegations in this lawsuit.
Dorothea B., a 92 year old widow was a plaintiff in litigation in which she alleged she was taken advantage of by one of the nation’s largest insurance companies, AIG Annuity, and a locally prominent bank.
According to allegations in the lawsuit, Mrs. B’s advanced age and diminished mental abilities made her particularly vulnerable, and enabled them to convince her to purchase a deferred annuity. This complicated investment product rendered Mrs. B’s funds inaccessible for a number of years.
The complaint further alleged that the defendants’ conduct violated Mrs. B’s trust. Like most senior citizens, Mrs. B frequently visited and trusted her long time bank, and relied upon them for financial advice.
As the litigation demonstrates, it is very important to periodically check your investment portfolio and make sure that your finances are in order, that you get independent advice, and that you do not find anything suspicious.