Investor Case Filings UBS Bond Funds, Banco Popular & Merrill Lynch

Overall filings at FINRA are up 11% year to date through April of 2014 in comparison to last year.  The reason?  A huge surge of  arbitration filings against UBS, Banco Popular and Merrill Lynch for the losses associated with Puerto Rico related bonds.   According to FINRA, there were 1,344 arbitration claims initiated against brokerage firms and brokers compared to 1,214 for the same period in 2013.   The average time to complete an arbitration  (from filing a statement of claim through the final hearing and until an Award is issued) increased from 17.7 months to 19.0 months.  The types of claims most often brought in 2014 are:  Breach of Fiduciary Duty (alleged in 685 cases); Negligence (673); Breach of Contract (579); Failure to Supervise (559); Misrepresentation (520); Unsuitability (431); Omissions of Facts (425); Unauthorized Trading (76); Churning (66); and Margin Calls (25).  Though FINRA doesn’t break the filing down by firm, UBS, Merrill Lynch and Banco Popular have faced the brunt of FINRA claims and lawsuits related to the Puerto Rico melt down.

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