Massachusetts regulators are charging a broker-dealer in Texas with sales of unsuitable investments to seniors and running “high-pressure” sales contests. In addition, they seek restitution for some clients, the return of related fees and commissions and a review of the policies concerning senior clients and sales contests.
In one case, for instance, a senior client in the final stage of terminal cancer had almost all of her assets put in a variable annuity, “leaving her without access to liquid funds,” the regulators say.
The actions, announced by Secretary of the Commonwealth William F. Galvin on Tuesday, focus on Investment Professionals Inc. (IPI) of San Antonio, which partners with community banks and credit unions – and also shares revenue related to bank clients with the financial institutions.
“Aggressive sales contests run contrary to investor protection,” Galvin said in a statement. “And contests impacting senior investors on bank premises magnify the problems and concerns … These sales gimmicks – especially as they relate to seniors — are an unacceptable practice which my office will not tolerate.”