FINRA sanctioned Voya Financial Advisors for failing to apply front-end sales charge discounts to eligible retirement plan and charitable organization customers who purchased Class A shares in certain mutual funds, and for failing to supervise financial advisers and the sales charge waiver process.
Investigators found that, due to Voya's failures, eligible retirement customers incurred higher fees and costs than were required.
In AWC #2016050231901, FINRA found that Voya facilitated the sale of Class A mutual fund shares with front-end sales charges or Class B and C mutual fund shares with back-end sales charges, higher ongoing fees, and expenses, while failing to establish and maintain a supervisory system and procedures to ensure that eligible retirement plan customers received the sales charge discounts to which they were entitled.
This isn't the first time FINRA has sanctioned Voya for overcharging clients.
In 2016, FINRA fined Voya alongside Cetera, First Allied Securities, Summit Brokerage Services, VSR Financial Services, Kestra Investment Services, and FTB Advisors for failing to supervise variable annuities sales.
In addition, FINRA ordered Voya Financial Advisors to pay $1.8 million to harmed investors. FINRA cited Voya's failure to identify red flags of unsuitable L-Share VA sales patterns in its report.
In 2015, FINRA sanctioned Voya, National Planning Corp, Transamerica Financial Advisers, Investacorp, JP Turner, and Cetera Investment Services for failing to apply discounts to eligible customer purchases of non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs). Voya paid over $366,000 in fines and restitution to settle the 2015 REIT/BDC overcharging allegations.
If you have invested with Voya Financial Advisors, or with any broker or financial adviser who has sold you a mutual fund or other product, but failed to apply appropriate sales charge discounts or waivers that you were entitled to, thus causing you to pay more or rendering the transaction unsuitable and financially harmful to your interests, please call an experienced FINRA arbitration attorney at The Law Offices of Jonathan W. Evans & Associates at (800) 699-1881 for an investigation and consultation.