According to InvestmentNews, UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico has agreed to pay $1.7 million to investors to settle allegations that some investors were placed into unsuitable closed-end bond funds. The UBS bond funds significantly declined in value last year when Puerto Rico municipal bonds debt was downgraded to “junk” status by all three major rating services last year.
InvestmentNews reports that the settlement total with the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions of Puerto Rico (OCIF) was $5.2 million. Approximately 34 senior low net worth investors will be the recipients of $1.7 million. The other $3.5 million will reportedly go to the OCIF investor education fund.
According to InvestmentNews, the OCIF alleged that some brokers may have made transactions in their client’s account without authorization, and it found discrepancy with the recordkeeping associated with the accounts. As part of the settlement, UBS agreed to place six brokers involved under “enhanced supervision.”
According to the OCIF website, the 34 investors included in the settlement were part of a sample selected by the OCIF. They recognize that other investors that met the sample criteria may not have been included in the sample. The OCIF sited “limited resources” as the reason for the exclusion of other UBS clients.
While the settlement is significant and will assist a number of victims, it represents only a fraction of the $600 million in claims from investors. As such, The White Law Group continues to investigate the liability that brokerage firms may have for unsuitably investing their clients in Puerto Rico debt.
If you invested in a UBS Puerto Rico closed-end funds and would like to speak to a securities attorney about recovering your investment losses through a FINRA dispute resolution claim, please call The White Law Group at (312)238-9650 for a free consultation.
The White Law Group, LLC is a national securities fraud, securities arbitration, investor protection, and securities regulation/compliance law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Vero Beach, Florida.
For more information on The White Law Group, please visit our website at www.WhiteSecuritiesLaw.com.