A DIY Settlement Attempt with Client Results in Former Edward Jones Advisor's Suspension

Posted on March 30th, 2021 at 11:14 AM
A DIY Settlement Attempt with Client Results in Former Edward Jones Advisor's  Suspension

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has fined, and suspended John O'Bannon after Bannon attempted to settle with a client without Edward Jones' knowledge. According to a letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent, O'Bannon made an effort to resolve the customer complaint using personal funds. 

In June 2020, O'Bannon's customer requested to transfer his employer-company stock shares to his Edward Jones account. O'Bannon subsequently liquidated the shares. O'Bannon "mistakenly advised" the customer about completing documents necessary for the transfer, according to FINRA. 

Following a verbal complaint from the customer, O'Bannon sent a personal check to the customer to partially compensate him. Upon receipt of the check, the customer brought the complaint directly to Edward Jones.

O'Bannon's actions violated FINRA's "catch all" Rule 2010, requiring "high standards of commercial honor," as stated in the settlement letter. Edward Jones conducted an investigation and ultimately terminated O'Bannon, according to a spokesperson from the firm. Edward Jones fired O'Bannon for "concerns the registered representative tried to remedy a processing error in a customer account by providing personal funds of the registered representative to the customer," according to FINRA. 

FINRA recently suspended another Edward Jones advisor in Topeka, Kansas, for ten days and fined him $2,500 for allegedly writing a personal check to resolve a complaint from a customer. The customer claimed she lost money after the advisor failed to close an account when the market was tanking in March.

Eccleston Law LLC represents investors and financial advisors nationwide. Please contact us to discuss any issues that you may have.


Tags: eccleston, eccleston law, finra, edward jones, advisor suspension

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