UBS AG will pay $19.5 million to settle charges that it made false or misleading statements and omissions in offering materials provided to U.S. investors in structured notes linked to a proprietary exchange trading strategy. This is the first case by the SEC involving misstatements and omissions by an issuer of structured notes, a complex financial product that typically consists of a debt security with a derivative tied to the performance of other securities, commodities, currencies, or proprietary indices. The return on the structured note is linked to the performance of the derivative over the life of the note. UBS, one of the largest issuers of structured notes in the world, settled the SEC’s charges that it misled U.S. investors in structured notes tied to the V10 Currency Index with Volatility Cap by falsely stating that the investment relied on a “transparent” and “systematic” currency trading strategy using “market prices” to calculate financial instruments underlying the index, when, in fact, undisclosed hedging trades by UBS reduced the index price by about 5%. SEC
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