FINRA sign outside its headquarters in New York. Outside FINRA headquarters in New York. (Photo: Shutterstock)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority suspended two UBS Financial Services reps for 45 days each and fined each of them $5,000 for allegedly making unauthorized trades in their clients’ accounts, according to FINRA.

Without admitting or denying the findings, William Daly and Richard Denecker each submitted a letter of acceptance, waiver and consent to FINRA Aug. 5 in which they agreed to FINRA’s sanctions. FINRA accepted the letter Wednesday.

UBS declined to comment Friday. Todd Ratner, the Richmond, Virginia-based attorney who represented the reps in the disputes with FINRA, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

On Dec. 10 and 11, 2018, Daly “placed a trade in each of his 48 firm customer accounts, without the knowledge, authorization, or consent” of his clients, according to his AWC letter.

On the same dates, Denecker “placed a trade in each of his 32 firm customer accounts, without the knowledge, authorization, or consent” of his clients, according to his AWC letter.

Because of their actions, each rep violated FINRA Rule 2010 (governing standards of commercial honor and principles of trade), FINRA claimed.

Ex-Edward Jones Rep Suspended

Separately, FINRA suspended an ex-Edward Jones rep for 10 days and fined him $2,500, claiming that, while registered with that firm in March, Michael Erwin settled a customer complaint without the knowledge or approval of the firm, violating FINRA Rule 2010.

Without admitting or denying the findings, Erwin submitted a FINRA AWC letter July 30 in which he agreed to FINRA’s sanctions. FINRA accepted the letter Thursday.

“Edward Jones takes its obligations to clients seriously and after learning of the conduct in question, promptly terminated Mr. Erwin’s employment,” a spokesperson for the firm told ThinkAdvisor Friday.

Kimberly P. Cronin, an attorney at law firm Messner Reeves who represented Erwin in the dispute, did not immediately respond to a request for comment Friday.

Erwin first became registered with FINRA in 2017 as a general securities representative through an association with Edward Jones. On April 22, Edward Jones filed a Form U5, stating it had terminated Erwin’s registration, according to the AWC letter.

On March 5, 2020, one of Erwin’s customers at Edward Jones instructed Erwin to close her account by March 10, FINRA alleged. Erwin did not close her account until March 17, by which time the account had declined in value, according to FINRA. Shortly thereafter, the client contacted Erwin and his branch office administrator to complain, according to the AWC letter.

On March 25, Erwin wrote the client a personal check for $2,500 to settle the complaint, according to FINRA. Although Edward Jones was aware of the client’s complaint, Erwin did not disclose to the firm that he had paid money to the client to settle the complaint, according to the AWC letter.

Erwin is currently associated with FINRA member Madison Avenue Securities, according to FINRA’s BrokerCheck website.