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LPL Financial LLC (Boston, Massachusetts)

An AWC was issued in which the firm was censured and fined $375,000. Without admitting or denying the findings, the firm consented to the sanctions and to the entry of findings that it failed to implement a supervisory system reasonably designed to ensure that its registered representatives were trained on all material risks and features of brokered certificates of deposit (CDs) and that it adequately disclosed all material risks and features of the brokered CDs to customers. The findings stated that in particular, the firm failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that its registered representatives or fixed income desk employees received or had meaningful access to issuer-prepared disclosure documents prior to their sales of these products. In response to FINRA Notice to Members 02-69, the firm prepared and delivered to customers who purchased brokered CDs a generic CD disclosure statement that described the general risks and characteristics of brokered CDs. The firm, however, did not consistently provide its customers, prior to or at the time of sale, with issuer-prepared disclosure documents, despite the firm’s obligation to do so under its selling agreements with the brokered CD issuers, and did not otherwise have a process to disclose fully all material risks and features of the brokered CDs to customers. Because of the firm’s deficient supervisory system, one of the firm’s registered representatives made material misrepresentations to elderly customers regarding the limitations on the ability, upon death, of their estates to redeem their 20-year brokered CDs at par value. The elderly customers or their estates suffered losses of approximately $75,000 because they were unable to fully redeem the brokered CDs and had to sell the brokered CDs on the secondary market. The firm subsequently remediated these customers’ losses. (FINRA Case #2015045703001)