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July 19, 2021

UBS Financial Services Inc. will pay $8 million to resolve claims of compliance failures with respect to the sale of an exchange-traded product designed to track short-term volatility expectations in the market as measured against derivatives of a volatility index. UBS placed restrictions on the sale of the product to brokerage customers, but did not place similar restrictions on activity by financial advisors, and failed to monitor concentration limits on volatility-linked ETPs. SEC

July 14, 2021

Following a lawsuit filed by the FTC in 2018, online lender LendingClub has agreed to pay $18 million to settle claims of deceiving consumers about hidden fees, misrepresenting consumers’ approvals for loans, and withdrawing money from consumer bank accounts without authorization.  In addition to the monetary penalty, LendingClub is now required to clearly and conspicuously disclose all fees, as well as the total amount of funds being borrowed.  FTC

July 13, 2021

A subsidiary of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) has agreed to pay $97 million in restitution and make significant reforms to settle charges for making misleading statements and failing to disclose conflicts of interests to tens of thousands of customers.  Between 2012 and 2018, advisors with TIAA-CREF Individual & Institutional Services LLC (TC Services) pressured customers—many of them teachers and public sector employees—to move their investments from low-cost employer-sponsored retirement plans to higher-cost individually-managed accounts, which generated hundreds of millions of dollars in fees for TIAA.  NY AG; SEC

July 12, 2021

A non-bank institution in Georgia called GreenSky, LLC has been ordered to refund or cancel up to $9 million in fraudulent loans, pay a $2.5 million civil penalty, and implement new procedures to prevent future financial abuse.  According to the CFTC, GreenSky’s inappropriate and ineffective controls enabled third-party merchants to take out loans on behalf of thousands of consumers without their knowledge or authorization.  In addition to the financial resolution, GreenSky is now required to verify consumer identities and confirm authorizations before activating or disbursing loans, implement a consumer complaint management program, and properly oversee third-party merchant partners.  CFTC

June 30, 2021

Investment advisor Securities America, Inc. will pay a $1.75 million civil penalty to resolve charges that it failed to implement policies and procedures that were reasonably designed to protect client assets from misappropriation.  While affiliated entities to whom SAA had delegated responsibility for surveillance of advisory accounts had received automated alerts about potentially suspicious withdrawals from client accounts, those alerts were ignored and approximately $8 million was misappropriated from SAA advisory accounts.  SEC

June 29, 2021

Neovest Inc., a JPMorgan Chase & Co. subsidiary that provides an order and execution management system (OEMS) that facilitates electronic trading, will pay $2.75 million for its failure to register as a broker-dealer. Neovest's OEMS allows customers to route orders for stocks and options to more than 360 customer-selected destination brokers who entered into agreements with Neovest for execution. In exchange for its OEMS services, Neovest received transaction-based compensation, which were sent to J.P. Morgan Securities LLC, a registered broker-dealer, and then transferred to Neovest. SEC

June 25, 2021

Three Credit Suisse entities—Credit Suisse International, Credit Suisse Securities Europe Limited, and Credit Suisse Capital LLC—have been ordered to pay a $1.5 million civil monetary penalty to resolve charges of failing to comply with swap data reporting obligations between 2013 and 2018.  Specifically, the entities reported the mark-to market notational value of underlying equity rather than the daily mark of certain equity swap transactions.  The failure resulted in errors in the majority of the reportable equity swap transactions submitted to the swap dealer repository.  CFTC

June 22, 2021

Loci Inc., whose InnVenn platform provides intellectual property search services for inventors and others users, will pay $7.6 million to resolve SEC charges arising from its unregistered initial coin offering of "LOCIcoins."  In the course of the ICO, Loci and its CEO John Wise allegedly misrepresented the company’s revenues, number of employees, and InnVenn’s user base. SEC

May 17, 2021

Index provider S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC, which publishes the S&P 500 VIX Short Term Futures Index ER, will pay a $9 million penalty to resolve claims that inadequate quality control procedures, including an undisclosed “auto-hold” feature triggered by a VIX spike, caused it publish and disseminate stale index values during a period of unprecedented volatility.  As a result of the stale information, issuers who used the index to offer securities reported incorrect values.  SEC
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