United Planners Financial Services of America (Scottsdale, Arizona) agreed to the payment of a $200,000 fine to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to settle allegations involving the failure to properly supervise and detect the unsuitable sale of variable annuities (VAs). According to FINRA, United Planners allowed supervisors to self-approve their own VA sales and the firm failed to implement proper supervisory procedures and training of VA transactions. United Planner's Chief Compliance Officer Douglas Hall (Phoenix, Arizona) was fined $15,000 in a related disciplinary action.
Despite increased efforts from regulators, our securities law firm continues to see abuses in the sale of VAs. Two areas of particular concern are the sale of VAs to elderly investors and the unnecessary exchange or replacement of existing VAs.
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