Securities attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating UBS Financial Services Inc. (UBS Financial) broker David Watkins (Watkins). According to BrokerCheck records, Watkins has been subject to two customer disputes, one of which is still pending. In addition, Watkins has been subject to two tax liens. The majority of these disputes concern unsuitable recommendations in bonds, stocks, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).
In August 2017, a customer alleges that from May 2013 to October 2016, Watkins recommended for the customer to buy fixed-income securities and ETFs which were unsuitable to the customers investment needs. The customer has requested $5,000,000 in damages. This dispute is currently still pending.
In September 2015, a customer alleged that from January 2011 to August 2015, Watkins placed the customer in bonds that were unsuitable to the customer and not rated AA or higher as the customer had approved. The case settled for $60,000.
In July 2005, Watkins was charged for a tax lien of over $40,000. A tax lien is a sign that a financial advisor is struggling with their finances. FINRA makes this information available to the public so that investors can determine whether or not their advisor’s financial situation influences the advisor’s recommendations.
All advisers have a fundamental responsibility to deal fairly with investors including 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 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 against Watkins are unusual compared to his peers. According to newsources, only about 7.3% of financial advisors have any type of disclosure event on their records among brokers employed from 2005 to 2015. Brokers must publicly disclose reportable events on their CRD customer complaints, IRS tax liens, judgments, investigations, and even criminal matters. However, studies have found that there are fraud hotspots such as certain parts of California, New York or Florida, where the rates of disclosure can reach 18% or higher. Moreover, according to the New York Times, BrokerCheck may be becoming increasing inaccurate and understate broker misconduct as studies have shown that 96.9% of broker requests to clean their records of complaints are granted.
Watkins entered the securities industry in 1987 and has been registered with UBS Financial since 2004. Previous registrations include Garban Corporates LLC, Garban LLC, and Garban Limited.
Investors who have suffered losses may be able recover their losses through securities arbitration. The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are experienced in representing investors in cases of selling away and brokerage firms failure to supervise their representatives. Our consultations are free of charge and the firm is only compensated if you recover