According to BrokerCheck records financial advisor Michael Lyle (Lyle), currently employed by Transamerica Financial Advisors, Inc. (Transamerica) has been subject to four customer complaints and one tax lien during during his career. According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), many of the customer complaints against Lyle concern allegations over variable annuity sales practices.
In January 2019 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Lyle violated the securities laws by, among other things, that the product was misrepresented in that she was told she would receive returns of $7,500 monthly but that Lyle had failed to inform her of the IRS penalties for early withdrawals causing $100,000 in damages. The claim is currently pending.
In June 2018 a customer filed a complaint alleging that Lyle violated the securities laws by, among other things, that the product was unsuitable and that Lyle failed to inform her of the IRS penalty for early withdrawals causing $73,594 in damages. The claim was denied.
Variable annuities are complex financial and insurance products. In fact, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) released a publication entitled: Variable Annuities: What You Should Know encouraging investors to ask questions about the variable annuity before investing. Essentially, a variable annuity is a contract with an insurance company under which the insurer agrees to make periodic payments to you. The investor chooses the investments made in the annuity and value of your variable annuity will vary depending on the performance of the investment options chosen. The primary benefits of variable annuities are the death benefit and tax deferment of investment gains.
However, the benefits of variable annuities are often outweighed by the terms of the contract that include exorbitant expenses such as surrender charges, mortality and expense charges, management fees, market-related risks, and rider costs.
According to newsources, a study revealed that 7.3% of financial advisors had a customer complaint on their record when records from 2005 to 2015 were examined. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their BrokerCheck reports that include customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, terminations, and criminal cases. In addition, research has show a disturbing pattern with troublesome brokers where brokers with high numbers of customer complaints are not kicked out of the industry but instead these brokers are sifted to lower quality brokerage firms with loose hiring practices and higher rates of customer complaints. These lower quality firms may average brokers with five times as many complaints as the industry average.
Lyle entered the securities industry in 1994. From March 2002 until January 2012 Lyle was registered with World Group Securities, Inc. Since January 2012 Lyle has been associated with Transamerica out of the firm’s Hollywood, Florida office location.
Investors who have suffered losses are encouraged to contact us at (800) 810-4262 for consultation. At Gana Weinstein LLP, our attorneys are experienced representing investors who have suffered securities losses due to the mishandling of their accounts. Claims may be brought in securities arbitration before FINRA. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover.