Truist Investment Advisor Kultar Bindra Has Structured Products Complaint

shutterstock_156562427-300x200The attorneys at Gana Weinstein LLP are investigating BrokerCheck records reports that financial advisor Kultar Bindra (Bindra), currently employed by Truist Investment Services, Inc. (Truist) has been subject to at least two customer complaints during the course of his career.  According to records kept by The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), Bindra’s customer complaint alleges that Bindra recommended unsuitable investments in structured products and makes allegations concerning the misrepresentation of the product among other allegations of misconduct relating to the handling of their accounts.

In August 2023 a customer complained that Bindra violated the securities laws by alleging that Bindra recommended an investment made on July 28, 2020 was misrepresented regarding the term and rate of return. The claim alleges damages and settled for $14,954.

Structured products are a class of derivative products that derive their performance from market linked data.  A structured product generally references a source against which market risk is taken. The source can be a single security, a basket of securities such as a market index, commodities, interest rates, or a real estate loan portfolio. The variety of products that can be structured demonstrates the difficulty in formulating a single unified definition of a structured product.

However, most structured products produce inferior risk/return profiles than ordinary debt or equity instruments because the brokerage firms that issue these products, mostly large banks, seek to profit from the spread between the payment to investors and the amount of money the brokerage firm can make from the issuance of the structured notes minus the commissions and fees that must be paid to brokers selling the product.  Due to the complexity of these products most investors will lack the ability to understand the merits of these investments or compute the probabilities of return versus loss.  Many brokers misrepresent these investments to clients as fixed income or bond like investments with return of capital.  Due to the high risk of loss compared to corporate debt or other fixed income alternatives it would never be appropriate to recommend most structured products as fixed income alternatives.

A couple of examples of structured products linked to single securities shows the extreme risk of these products without meaningful benefit.  Our firm analyzed a structured note linked to the stock of Peloton that promised to investors 1.0625% interest monthly or 12.75% annually and another note linked to the stock of Zillow which promised a 12% annual interest payment paid monthly so long as the respective stock prices stayed above a referenced value.  Both stocks could lose around 40% of their value before the interest payment would be eliminated entirely.  In addition, if the stocks lost more than approximately 40% of their value then the investor would also lose their corresponding principal based upon the performance of the stocks and could lose their entire investment.  Further, the notes were callable and could be cancelled by the sponsor.

These products are very high risk and low reward propositions because the investor can only profit at most by 12-12.75% over the course of one year.  Even if Peloton or Zillow doubled in value all the investor could achieve would be the interest payment as their profit and none of the price appreciation.  Meanwhile the maximum loss is 100% of the investment if the stocks fell severely.  Accordingly, the investor takes dramatic downside risks associated with the volatile stocks while having no chance to participate in the success of the stock.

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.

Bindra entered the securities industry in 2013.  From June 2015 through February 2017 Bindra was registered with UBS Financial Services Inc.  From February 2017 through February 2021 Bindra was registered with BB&T Securities.  Since February 2021 Bindra has been associated with Truist out of the firm’s Tampa, 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.

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