Variable Annuity Scheme in Appleton, WI
By Sean Sweeney on October 23, 2018
FINRA, The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, has sanctioned SII Investments of Appleton, Wisconsin, IFC Holdings (a/k/a) INVEST Financial Corporation of Appleton, Wisconsin, and Investment Centers of America of Appleton, Wisconsin with violations regarding the sales of variable annuities to their customers.
The issue involved the sale of various Variable Annuities to customers while not ensuring that the recommendations were appropriate or consistent. This included selling different share classes, such as L-share contracts, which charge higher fees for the life of the contract than comparable B-share contracts combined with long-term riders. The latter needs the customer to hold the product for longer to see the value. According to FINRA, SII Investments, Investment Centers of America, and INVEST Financial Corporation generated a significant part of their revenues from variable annuity sales (19-30% from 2003-2015).
FINRA has previously warned that when it comes to variable annuities “a minimum holding period is often necessary before the tax benefits are likely to outweigh the often higher fees imposed on variable annuities” and FINRA has expressed concern about the “exorbitant” and “high commissions which drive sales of these products.”
You can learn more about claims regarding Variable Annuities on our page, Variable Annuity Loss Recovery.
Investment Centers of America and SII Investments were also sanctioned for not ensuring that customers received all available sales charge discounts on eligible Unit Investment Trust (UIT) purchases.
If you have been sold a variable annuity product or UIT by Investment Centers of America, SII Investments, or INVEST Financial Corporation, it is possible that you have a claim for recovery.
Sean M. Sweeney is a shareholder at Halling and Cayo, a full service law firm in Milwaukee, WI and the head of its Securities Litigation team. He represents individual and institutional investors in FINRA arbitration and court nationwide. He recovers investment losses from fraud or breach of duty from their broker-dealer. Contact him at 414-877-8502 or via e-mail at SMS@hallingcayo.com to see if he can help recover funds.
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