The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority sanctioned a former AXA Advisors representative for settling a customer complaint without the firm’s knowledge or approval, according to FINRA.
Without admitting or denying the regulator’s findings, Billy Hai Zhang signed a FINRA letter of acceptance, waiver and consent Feb. 27 in which he agreed to a 15-day suspension from associating with any FINRA member firm and a $5,000 fine. FINRA accepted the letter Tuesday.
Zhang is not currently registered as a broker or RIA, according to his profile on FINRA’s BrokerCheck website.
Zhang was “permitted to resign” from AXA, effective April 19, 2018, “while under investigation for sales practices and unauthorized funds withdrawal allegations made in a customer complaint,” according to BrokerCheck. On April 26, 2018, AXA filed a Form U5 terminating Zhang’s registration, FINRA said.
It was not clear Thursday whether the firm asked him to resign or if he offered to resign. Zhang and AXA parent firm Equity Holdings did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Zhang first became registered with a FINRA member firm in August 2008 as an investment company products/variable contracts representative at AXA, according to FINRA.
Between December 2011 and March 2012, Zhang was registered with a different FINRA member firm (MetLife Securities), but he again registered with AXA in March 2012, as a general securities representative, FINRA said.