The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority censured and fined Morgan Stanley $1.5 million for failing to deliver prospectuses and investment objective change letters to customers, according to the FINRA Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent.
“This settlement involves unrelated technical issues that temporarily disabled certain prospectus hyperlinks on the MS Online website, and prevented certain client profile confirmation letters from being generated,” a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman said in an email. ”The settlement recognized Morgan Stanley’s extraordinary cooperation in identifying and quickly resolving the prospectus issue, and further recognized that prospectuses were available elsewhere on MS Online, and client profile information continued to be reflected on account statements.”
For several years prior to 2013, Morgan Stanley made required prospectuses available to customers through an online platform if the customer elected to receive paperless transaction confirmations via online delivery.
When an online customer received notification of a transaction confirmation, the customer could log onto the online platform and view the transaction confirmation. In the event the transaction concerned a purchase that required a prospectus to be delivered, the online transaction confirmation would include an easily accessible link to the relevant prospectus.
However, in November 2013, Morgan Stanley deployed a system update to its online platform to change various features unrelated to the “View Prospectus” link. As a result of this update, the link was not placed on the online transaction confirmation between Nov. 8, 2013 and Aug. 14, 2014.
During the nine-month period at issue, the firm failed to deliver to online customers approximately 2.1 million prospectuses via the “View Prospectus” link.
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