Posts belonging to Category UBS



Brokerage Firm ‘Shoots First and Asks Questions Later’

 

When a securities brokerage firm sues to collect the balance due under a promissory note from one of its brokers, the securities industry often views the case as close as one can get to a “slam dunk” case for the firm.  When UBS Financial Services sued former brokers James Kirwin and Joanne Meninger for amounts [...]

Wall Street Firms Scam Each Other

 

Citigroup, one bank that has been accused of scamming investors in CDO transactions, appears to have been scammed by another Wall Street Bank, UBS, that engaged in similar activity. The U.S. Department of Justice’s recent lawsuit against Standard & Poor’s has identified dozens of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) that were allegedly given the highest AAA [...]

UBS to Shed 10,000 More Employees

 

UBS has announced a major a cost-cutting overhaul that will eliminate 10,000 jobs. The positions will be eliminated mostly from its investment banking division. UBS cited increased regulatory capital requirements and persistent problems in the global economy as reasons for the cuts. The move also follows scandals involving the investment banking division, including a $2.3 [...]

Huge Award Shows the Benefits of Whistleblowers

 

The IRS has awarded $104 million to former UBS AG banker Bradley Birkenfeld for providing it with inside information about UBS’s illegal encouragement of secret offshore accounts by U.S. taxpayers. The IRS issued a statement confirming the award because Mr. Birkenfeld signed a disclosure waiver. It is the largest IRS whistleblower award ever, according to [...]

Underwriter Abuses are Plentiful in the Municipal Bond Markets

 

Firms that underwrite municipal bonds often gain advantage over municipalities by engaging in unlawful acts that sometimes may rise to the level of criminal activity. Public officials are, by and large, not savvy municipal bond financiers. They usually rely on the expertise of underwriters, who often take unfair advantage of municipalities, public officials and taxpayers [...]

Wall Street Continues to Perpetuate the Same Old Abuses

 

A former UBS research analyst has filed a lawsuit filed against the bank alleging that he was fired for refusing to write inaccurate research reports to benefit (or avoid harming) UBS’s trading positions in the commercial mortgage-backed securities market. The analyst reportedly seeks reinstatement with 2.5 times accrued back pay. (“Former UBS Research Analyst Sues [...]

City of Pasadena Wins Right to Arbitrate Auction Rate Securities Case Against UBS

 

A number of cities and local governments that issued auction rate securities at low interest rates are now paying higher interest rates because of widespread auction failures that began occurring in early 2008. Some of them have filed arbitration claims against the Wall Street banks that recommended the issuance of auction rate securities, underwrote them, [...]

Case Reveals How Wall Street Banks Cheated Municipalities out of Billions of Dollars

 

The former co-head of UBS AG’s municipal-derivatives group, and two ex-colleagues are defendants in a municipal bond bid-rigging case being tried before U.S. District Judge Kimba Wood in Manhattan (“Ex-UBS execs on trial in muni bid-rigging case,” InvestmentNews).

Have Securities Regulators Become Too Chummy With Wall Street?

 

Susan Antilla’s recent Bloomberg column summarizes the securities regulatory enforcement activity in 2011 as a series of breaks, favors and waivers doled out by the regulators to big Wall Street banks. To be sure, the regulators often lower the boom on the small players, but Wall Street is another matter. (“Wall Street’s Big Swingers Get [...]

Regulators Sanction Major Wall Street Firms for Improper Sales of High-Risk ETFs

 

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it ordered Citigroup Global Markets, Morgan Stanley, UBS Financial Services, and Wells Fargo Advisors to pay more than $9.1 million for failure to supervise and failure to have a reasonable basis for recommending selling leveraged and inverse exchange traded funds. Each of the four firms sold billions [...]

Now Even Wall Street Firms Are Becoming Whistleblowers

 

What’s the difference between a Wall Street bank and a whistleblower? Nothing! While Wall Street railed against whistleblower protections for employees in Dodd-Frank, turns out they are falling all over themselves to blow the whistle on each other. Why? Because the first to tattle gets protections that are not offered to the second to tattle. [...]

Is the SEC Too Soft on Major Wall Street Firms?

 

Questions continue to arise regarding the too-cozy relationship between the SEC and Wall Street. Recent reports claim that the SEC, when settling with big Wall Street firms, has a practice of granting waivers that preserve special privileges enjoyed by those firms, and protect them from serious consequences that would otherwise result from their wrongdoing. For [...]

Are Wall Street Wirehouses ‘Killing the Goose that Laid the Golden Egg?’

 

The big four Wall Street wirehouses have lost market share since the financial crisis in part because of their role in the crisis and “customer distrust,” according to Bing Waldert, a director of Cerulli Associates Inc. (See “Wirehouse market share has shriveled since crisis,” InvestmentNews). Merrill Lynch Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, UBS AG [...]

The Number of Very Large Securities Arbitration Cases is on the Rise

 

The amount of dollars at stake in FINRA securities arbitrations has grown in recent years. Of the 7,000 claims currently pending, approximately 200 involve claims of $10 million or more. “The claims coming in now are substantially larger than what we had a few years ago,” Linda Fienberg, president of FINRA Dispute Resolution, was quoted [...]

Wells Fargo Pays $148 Million for Defrauding Municipalities

 

Wells Fargo will pay $148 million to settle charges that its Wachovia Bank unit conspired to rig bids on investment contracts for municipalities. (“Wells to Pay $148 Million to Settle Wachovia Bid-Rig Case,” Wall Street Journal). As part of the settlement, the Justice Department will not prosecute the bank. Wachovia reportedly admitted and accepted responsibility [...]