FINRA Bars Former H.D. Vest Broker Richard Whitley

shutterstock_160384289According to the BrokerCheck records kept by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) broker Richard Whitley (Whitley) has been the subject of at least 13 customer complaints and one regulatory action that has resulted in Whitley being barred. FINRA launched an investigation into claims that Whitley recommended unsuitable investments to customers. In addition, to the regulatory bar from the agency, customer complaints against Whitley allege a number of securities law violations including that the broker made unsuitable investments, breach of fiduciary duty, misrepresentations and false statements, among other claims

Whitley entered the securities industry in 1982. From 1992, until August 2014, Whitley was registered with H.D. Vest Investment Services (HD Vest). In June 2015, Whitley was barred by FINRA from the financial services industry after failing to respond to the agencies investigation into claims

Advisers have an obligation to deal fairly with investors and that obligation includes making suitable investment recommendations. In order to make suitable recommendations the broker must have a reasonable basis for recommending the product or security based upon the broker’s investigation of the investments properties including its costs, benefits, risks, tax consequences, and other relevant factors. In addition, the broker must also understand the customer’s specific investment objectives to determine whether or not the specific product or security being recommended is appropriate for the customer based upon their needs.

The number of complaints and regulatory actions against Whitley is relatively large by industry standards. According to InvestmentNews, only about 12% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records. Brokers must disclose different types of events, not necessarily all of which are customer complaints. These disclosures can include IRS tax liens, judgments, and even criminal matters.

Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases where their broker has acted inappropriately. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.