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Fifth Third Securities, Inc. (“Fifth Third Securities”) (CRD#628) has many different complaints filed by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), state regulatory organizations, and investors such as yourself. At the Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, we have investigated Fifth Third Securities, its regulatory and customer complaints, and have also represented investors with claims of fraud, negligence, and breach of fiduciary duty against this organization and its financial advisors.

If you believe you have a claim against Fifth Third Securities, you should strongly consider hiring an investment fraud lawyer. You should not wait until it’s too late to file a claim. The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., offers free consultations. Give us a call at 800-732-2889. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

Can I Sue Fifth Third Securities?

If you’ve lost money caused by Fifth Third Securities and/or its employees’ misconduct then the answer is, YES, you can sue Fifth Third Securities, but the odds are you signed away your right to sue in court and agreed to resolve your dispute in a FINRA arbitration proceeding. Attorney Robert Wayne Pearce has over 40 years of personal experience in FINRA arbitration proceedings and knows very well how you can not only sue Fifth Third Securities in FINRA arbitration proceedings but WIN that arbitration. The easiest way to know if you have a viable case against Fifth Third Securities is to call Attorney Pearce at our office at 800-732-2889.

Investment Losses? We Can Help

Discuss your legal options with an attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A.

Get A Free Consultation

or, give us a ring at (800) 732-2889.

Robert Pearce

What is Fifth Third Securities?

Fifth Third Securities (CRD#628) is a registered broker-dealer. It operates as a full-service independent broker-dealer, providing a range of financial products and services to individual investors and financial advisors.

As a registered broker-dealer, Fifth Third Securities is subject to regulations and oversight by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It is required to comply with industry standards and regulations to ensure the protection of its clients’ interests.

A failure to comply with industry standards by either its brokers or the firm itself can result in disciplinary actions, fines, or other penalties imposed by regulatory authorities.

Fifth Third Securities Has Many Different Regulatory Problems 

Fifth Third Securities’ rapid growth has not been without consequences. There have been approximately 38 state and self-regulatory body disclosure events; that is, final and formal proceedings initiated by a regulatory authority (e.g., a state or federal securities agency like the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) or self-regulatory body like the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) for a violation(s) of investment-related rules or regulations. In addition, there have customer complaints filed against Fifth Third Securities for misconduct by its securities sales and investment advisory representatives that are not reported by the firm on its Central Depository Record. 

We have reported and written about these regulatory problems and customer complaints over many years. Fifth Third Securities is a repeat offender: there are over 38 FINRA-reported proceedings citing the firm with one form of supervisory lapses or another.

A Brief Overview of Some of the Regulatory Problems Fifth Third Securities Has Faced Over the Years*

Fifth Third Securities has been repeatedly censured, warned, and fined multi-millions of dollars for its own misconduct and failure to supervise its army of financial advisors.* A few of the notable FINRA Sanctions for its Supervisory Failures are below:

SEC Censures, Fines, and Orders Fifth Third Securities to Cease-and-Desist for Exchange Act Rule Violations

Brief Overview: Through an investigation initiated by the SEC, it found that finds that Fifth Third Securities failure to comply with Exchange Rules when participating as an underwriter in certain primary offerings of municipal securities. The applicable rule generally requires underwriters, in primary offerings of $1 million or more, to obtain disclosure documents from issuers and to reasonably determine that the issuer of the municipal securities or an obligated person has undertaken to provide certain information pertaining to the offered securities on a continuing basis to the municipal securities rulemaking board. This undertaking is commonly referred to as a “continuing disclosure undertaking” or a “continuing disclosure agreement.” Continuing disclosures enable investors in municipal securities in the secondary market to make informed investment decisions and to protect themselves from misrepresentations or other fraudulent activities by brokers. The SEC found that the firm lacked policies and procedures reasonably designed to determine if purchasers satisfied the exemption’s requirements. As a result of this conduct, Fifth Third was fined $200,000.00.

FINRA Censures and Fines Fifth Third Securities for Failure to Implement Supervisory System to Govern Unsuitable Variable Annuity Transactions

Brief Overview: Without admitting or denying the findings, the Fifth Third Securities consented to the sanctions and to the entry of FINRA findings that it violated the terms of a 2009 FINRA acceptance, waiver and consent by not complying with a specific undertaking required by the AWC. For more than four years, the firm failed to implement the independent consultant’s recommendation that it develop certain procedures to monitor variable annuity exchanges by individual registered representatives. FINRA stated that in the firm’s 2009 AWC, FINRA found the firm effected 250 unsuitable VA exchanges and had inadequate systems and procedures governing its VA exchange business. In accordance with the AWC, the firm agreed to comply with certain undertakings to remediate customer harm and improve its supervision of its VA business to which the firm failed. As a result, the firm was fined $4,000,000.

Fifth Third Securities Censured and Ordered by FINRA to Pay Restitution for Excessive Mutual Fund Fees

Brief Overview: Without admitting or denying the findings, Fifth Third Securities consented to the sanctions and to the entry of FINRA findings that the firm failed to reasonably supervise the application of sales charge waivers to eligible mutual fund sales. FINRA stated that the firm failed to apply the waivers to mutual fund purchases made by certain retirement plan and charitable organization customers that were eligible to purchase Class A shares in certain mutual funds without a front-end sales charge, and instead sold them Class A shares with a front-end sales charge or Class B or Class C shares with back-end sales charges and higher ongoing fees and expenses. These sales disadvantaged eligible customers by causing such customers to pay higher fees than they were required to pay. The firm agreed to pay restitution plus interest to eligible customers in the amount of $355,403.

FINRA Censures and Fines Fifth Third Securities for Failure to Apply Sales Charge Discounts to Eligible Purchasers for UITs

Brief Overview: Without admitting or denying the findings, Fifth Third Securities consented to the sanctions and to the entry FINRA findings that it failed to identify and apply sales charge discounts to certain customers’ eligible purchases of unit investment trusts. FINRA issued notice to members 04-26, unit investment trust sales, which reminded broker-dealers that they should develop and implement procedures to ensure customers receive available sales charge discounts for UITs. FINRA stated that UIT transactions must take place “on the most advantageous terms available to the customer” and that it is the firm’s responsibility to “take appropriate steps to ensure that they and their employees understand, inform customers about, and apply correctly any applicable price breaks available to customers in connection with UITs.” FINRA findings stated that the firm failed to apply sales charge discounts to 5,107 eligible UIT purchases resulting in customers paying excessive sales charges of approximately $663,534.23. As a result, the firm was fined $300,000.

SEC Fines and Orders Fifth Third Securities to Cease-and-Desist for Failure to Perform Adequate Due Diligence Concerning Municipal Bonds

Brief Overview: The SEC instituted public administrative and cease-and-desist proceedings against Fifth Third Securities for allegedly willfully violating the Securities Act. This matter involved violations of an antifraud provision of the federal securities laws in connection with the firms underwriting of certain municipal securities offerings. Fifth Third Securities conducted inadequate due diligence in certain offerings and as a result, failed to form a reasonable basis for believing the truthfulness of certain material representations in official statements issued in connection with those offerings. As a result,  the firm offered and sold municipal securities on the basis of materially misleading disclosure documents.

*Above are only some of the regulatory disciplinary actions filed against Fifth Third Securities by FINRA. NASAA and other state securities regulator investigations and enforcement actions account for another 32 BrokerCheck disclosures.

Fifth Third Securities Customer Complaints

There have been scores of customer complaints filed against Fifth Third Securities stockbrokers and investment advisors over the years. We have launched many investigations of current and former Fifth Third Securities advisors:

If you have lost money investing with any of these Fifth Third Securities advisors or others within this brokerage firm, it’s important that you reach out to an investment loss attorney quickly because the statutes of limitations can bar your claims. Call us at 800-732-2889.

Why Does Fifth Third Securities Have So Many Regulatory Problems And Customer Complaints?

Independent broker-dealers are notorious for their lax supervisory practices and procedures. The business model of these franchise type operations is to open many offices nationwide for steady growth of fixed monthly revenues without the costs attendant to a full-service branch office with on-site manager, compliance officer and operation personnel. The registered representatives of these independent broker-dealers generally operate as separately incorporated businesses. They are not employees of the broker-dealer and therefore not controlled in the same manner as full-service brokerage firm representatives. The registered representatives control their structure and costs to maximize profits and often leave the protection of investors’ rights and interests as their lowest priority.

The typical supervisory organization of independent broker-dealer operations is to have other independent contractors operate Offices of Supervisory Jurisdiction (OSJs) to monitor the registered representatives from geographically remote offices and then report to the main franchisor’s compliance office at national headquarters. The supervisors at the OSJs are not employees of the franchisor and often run their own brokerage, insurance and other businesses. They are not devoted full-time supervisors of the smaller branch offices. Consequently, OSJ managers cannot and do not supervise the day-to-day operations of the registered representatives of these Independent broker-dealers. 

Generally, there is no immediate review of new accounts opened, securities transactions, business records, cash or securities receipts and deliveries, correspondence and business activities unrelated to the securities brokerage operation at these independent brokerage firms. The lax supervision leaves investors who have transferred their accounts to the smaller independent broker-dealer vulnerable to sales of securities that have not been reviewed or authorized by anyone other than the sales representative earning a commission. There may be no one onsite to detect forgeries of clients’ signatures on documents, the placement of inaccurate information about a client’s investment objectives and financial condition to document the suitability of a particular investment recommendation. Oftentimes there is no daily review of sales literature and client correspondence to protect against misrepresentations and misleading statements being made to investors. In fact, it is not unusual for there to be only one compliance audit visit per year at many of these offices.

These Independent brokerage business operations are worrisome to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), which has documented more instances of sales abuse and consequently investor losses at these firms than the traditional brokerage firms with branch offices with on-site managers and compliance personnel.

Did Fifth Third Securities Advisor Misconduct Cause You Investment Losses?

When financial advisor misconduct has caused you to lose substantial value to your investment accounts, you have the right to seek reimbursement from the responsible parties. Fifth Third Securities is responsible like any employer for its financial advisors acts and omissions. In addition, it has an independent duty to supervise its stockbrokers and investment advisors. These cases can be extremely complex, and so having the support of a reputable attorney who is experienced in recovering investment losses for investors is key to your success. Many customers make the mistake of contacting Fifth Third Securities without representation with an attorney about their complaints and have their complaints denied.

Related Read: Can You Sue Your Brokerage Firm?

Investment Losses? We Can Help

Discuss your legal options with an attorney at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A.

Get A Free Consultation

or, give us a ring at (800) 732-2889.

Robert Pearce

Consult With An Attorney Who Recovers Investment Losses Caused By Fifth Third Securities Today!

The investment loss attorneys at The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A., have helped countless investors over the last 40 years recover the losses from their investment accounts that were caused by broker negligence or misconduct. The firm has extensive experience with Fifth Third Securities cases, and Attorney Pearce is committed to seeing that those responsible for the losses you have suffered are held fully accountable.

Give us a call at 800-732-2889. Let’s discuss your case and see what we can do to help you get the compensation you need and deserve.

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Robert Wayne Pearce

Robert Wayne Pearce of The Law Offices of Robert Wayne Pearce, P.A. has been a trial attorney for more than 40 years and has helped recover over $170 million dollars for his clients. During that time, he developed a well-respected and highly accomplished legal career representing investors and brokers in disputes with one another and the government and industry regulators. To speak with Attorney Pearce, call (800) 732-2889 or Contact Us online for a FREE INITIAL CONSULTATION with Attorney Pearce about your case.

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