The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority says the initial results of its voluntary self-reporting 529 Plan Share Class Initiative includes more than $2.7 million in restitution and interest to clients owning some 3,900 accounts.
The restitution and interest, which involved 19 firms, included two settlements and 17 matters resolved via cautionary action letters.
“All 19 firms in this initial group agreed to remediate harmed customers and to enhance their supervisory systems and procedures, where appropriate,” FINRA said.
Jessica Hopper, head of FINRA’s Department of Enforcement, said in a recent statement that the 529 initiative was launched in January 2019 “to remedy potential supervisory and suitability violations related to 529 plan share-class recommendations, and to return money to harmed investors as quickly and efficiently as possible.”
FINRA, Hopper added, expects to resolve the remaining matters in the coming year.
As part of the initiative, Morgan Stanley agreed Wednesday to pay about $1.7 million in restitution and interest to clients who incurred excess fees in their college savings accounts.