Articles Tagged with Barclays

shutterstock_52426963The securities fraud lawyers of Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating customer complaints against brokerage firms and advisors for selling them structured CDs – a class of structured products.  Brokerage firms and banks are selling record numbers of the so called “CDs” that are extraordinarily complex products that are nothing like CDs and contain substantial risks.

These CDs are usually market-linked or structured so that their performance depends on a basket of stocks or other assets instead of a flat interest rate like traditional CDs.  When they mature CD holders get their original money back plus a return based on the performance of certain assets or benchmarks.

Banks love these CDs because they are an inexpensive sources of funding that generate huge fees all the way down the chain. The issuer gets fees and the financial adviser gets paid more for selling a market-linked CD than a conventional CD or a mutual fund.  Typically, an adviser who sells the CD can get commissions of up to 3% of the CD’s value.

shutterstock_26269225The law offices of Gana Weinstein LLP are announcing their investigation into potential securities claims against brokerage firms over sales practices related to the recommendation of structured notes linked to oil & gas. These structured products are issued by Barclays (NYSE:BCS), Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS), Deutsche Bank (NYSE:DB), UBS (NYSE:UBS), Citigroup (NYSE:C), Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:BAC), JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM), Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS), and BNP Paribas among others firms. The structured notes are issued under the names Principal Protected Notes, Principal Protected Booster Notes, Buffered Bullish Notes, Accelerated Return Notes, Strategic Return Notes, Capped Leverage Return Notes, Target Term Securities, Market Linked Notes, E-Tracs, Return Optimization Notes, Auto-Callable Securities, Performance Leveraged Upside Securities (PLUS), and Equity Linked Securities (ELKs).

Brokers often pitch structured products as providing “downside protection” against losses to a related index while allowing modest up side gain potential. However, today investors are waking up to the fact that structured products linked to the oil market are offering no protection. According to Bloomberg, retail structured notes meant to protect against a drop in crude failed to do so. Of the $437.1 million in oil related structured products that have matured this year, 44 percent, or $194.3 million of principal has been lost. The largest deal in the oil space is a $104.6 million Barclays issuance in April 2014 that has lost 42 percent of its value.

Indeed, Bloomberg found that all but three of the 39 notes examined protected against a certain percentage of losses, typically in the range of 10 percent to 20 percent. These notes quickly breached these loss limits as crude oil prices have declined more than 60 percent. Once the securities breached the “soft barriers” investors became exposed to the full loss at maturity and the value of the notes became wholly dependent on the change in oil prices.

shutterstock_160350752It has been reported that, the arbitration forum operated by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FIRNA) has ordered Barclays PLC to pay Mayank Chamadia, a former swaps trader, approximately $9 million in back pay after he quit during a regulatory investigation. Chamadia joined Barclays in 2004. Thereafter, according to the allegations he was put on administrative leave in June 2013 because his group was part of an industrywide investigation into certain manipulations of interest-rate swaps.

However, Chamadia was not the focus of the regulatory investigation nor was he accused of wrongdoing. During this time Chamadia received his base salary while on administrative leave but he made most of his money through bonuses tied to his trading activities. Without being able to trade bonuses would not be paid and his chances of being hired at another firm would decrease. By October 2013, he resigned to join Balyasny Asset Management. Thereafter, Barclays withheld his deferred compensation. In 2014 Chamadia demanded to be paid bonuses that would have vested after his departure.

The panel awarded Chamadia $3.7 million in deferred compensation for 2010-2012 that had vested by March 2014, plus interest with the total award adding up to about $9 million.

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