Transamerica Failed to Reasonably Supervise Representatives’ Variable Annuity Recommendations
Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. was recently censured and fined $4,400,000 and ordered to pay $4,354,160 in restitution to customers. Transamerica consented to the findings that it failed to reasonably supervise its registered representatives’ variable annuity recommendations and made disclosures that contained materially inaccurate information or failed to disclose material information when making variable annuity recommendations. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent’s (AWC) findings provided that the firm and its representatives received compensation from new variable annuity sales, trails and subsequent contributions in the form of commissions in excess of $591 million which made up more than 40 percent of the firm’s total revenue. FINRA found that from May 2010 to May 2016 Transamerica failed to reasonably supervise its representatives’ variable annuity recommendations. Importantly, the firm failed to detect that certain of its registered representatives made thousands of misstatements to customers in recommending variable annuity exchanges, understanding the benefits of the existing variable annuity and overstating the benefits of the new variable annuity.
Transamerica Failed to Reasonably Supervise Representatives’ Sale of Certain Mutual Funds and Failed to Reasonably Supervise Representatives’ 529 Share-class Recommendations.
FINRA also found that the firm failed to reasonably supervise representatives’ sale of certain mutual funds. Transamerica relied on it registered representatives to determine the applicability of sales charge waivers to customers’ mutual fund purchases, but the firm did not provide guidance to the registered representatives to assist them in making the determination and failed to establish a system to confirm whether waivers were properly applied to the clients’ accounts. Additionally, FINRA found that Transamerica failed to reasonably supervise representatives’ recommendations to customers to purchase particular share classes of 529 savings plans. Transamerica failed to provide guidance to registered representatives about the importance of considering share-class differences when recommending 529 plans. The firm did not provide supervisors with information necessary to properly evaluate the suitability of 529 share-class recommendations.
Transamerica Financial Advisors maintains its home office in St. Petersburg, Florida. The firm currently has approximately 3,400 registered representatives and over 350 branch offices. Transamerica Financial Advisors conducts general securities business with an emphasis in annuity and mutual fund products. (See, FINRA AWC No. 2015048250401.)
Hanley law represents individual investors nationwide with significant losses in their portfolios, retirement plans or investment accounts. Hanley Law is dedicated to assisting investors to recover losses suffered by unsuitability, over-concentration, fraud, misrepresentation, self-dealing, unauthorized trades or other wrongful acts, whether intentional or negligent. Hanley Law represents clients nationwide in cases against the major Wall Street broker-dealers and has experience representing clients in claims to recover their losses related to unsuitable annuity sales. If a Transamerica registered representative recommended an annuity to you, and you lost principal or a death benefit, contact Hanley Law today.
If you have suffered investment losses as a result of your broker’s or brokerage firm’s misconduct, contact Hanley Law to discuss your legal options. Contact Hanley Law at (239)877-4330 or contact us through our Website to arrange a free confidential consultation with an attorney to discuss your experiences with your stock broker which resulted in investment losses.