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NEWSLETTERS & ALERTS
An Elderly Man Walked into a Bank ...
by Howard Haykin
HOW THE CONVERSION WENT DOWN. Without the customer’s knowledge or consent, the representative opened an individual brokerage account in the customer’s name at an unaffiliated broker-dealer. The representative later opened a ‘joint’ brokerage account in his and the customer’s name at that same broker-dealer. Over a 12-month period, the representative transferred $16,560 from the customer’s savings and brokerage accounts into these bogus accounts, which he used for personal expenses. And all that time, the customer apparently had no idea he had been ‘robbed’.
CUSTOMER TAKE AWAYS. Wells Fargo and other financial institutions offer 'one-stop shopping' – which can be a win-win situation so long as those various services provide value to the investor/customer - and so long as the individual can manage those multiple services. In the above case, the elderly customer apparently could not. Which raises the issue of recognizing an individual's need for assistance with making those assessments. An independent financial watchdog can fulfill those needs, providing that the watchdog's livelihood or career depends on the quality, and not the quantity, of the clients' financial accounts and relationships.
[For further details, click on … FINRA Case #2019064268201.]