Articles Tagged with Deutsche Bank

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_27786601The merry go-round of Wall Street fraud continues. After the housing crisis where Wall Street sold terrible home loans to investors we’ve arrived back to era frauds of selling favorable research. Enter the recent fine imposed by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) that 10 of the largest brokerage firms were fined a total of $43.5 million for allowing their equity research analysts to solicit investment banking business by offering favorable research coverage in connection with the 2010 planned initial public offering of Toys “R” Us.

FINRA fines are as follows:

Barclays Capital Inc. – $5 million

Former Merrill, Lynch Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc. (Merrill Lynch), Deutsche Bank Securities (Deutsche Bank), Inc., and Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. (Oppenheimer), broker Karl Edward Hahn (Hahn) was ordered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) to pay former clients over $11 million for misconduct in April 2013.  Hahn was accused of common law fraud, negligent misrepresentations, and breach of fiduciary duties.

Hahn worked at Merrill Lynch from 2004 until 2008, at Deutsche Bank from 2008 to mid-2009, and at Oppenheimer from 2009 to early 2011.   Hahn allegedly recommended various unsuitable investments to customers including covered calls, a premium financed life insurance policy, and $2.3 million fraudulent real estate financing project “involving East Coast” properties.  Hahn allegedly recommended the life insurance policy for the the large commissions he stood to earn.  Hahn also allegedly pocketed the money that was supposedly going to finance the East Coast properties.

Other claims made against Hahn include churning of investment accounts.  Churning is a type of financial fraud where the broker engages in excessive trading in a client’s account for the purpose of generating commission but does not provide the investor with suitable investment strategy.

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