Banks Receives 2016 Distinguished Service Award from PIABA

Last week at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Public Investors Arbitration Bar Association in San Diego, attorney Bob Banks was honored with PIABA’s Distinguished Service Award. The award is given “in recognition of outstanding, long-term and sustained service to promote the interests of the public investor in securities and commodities arbitration.” Banks has been a member of PIABA for 18 years. He serves on the Board of Directors, is a past president, and previously was honored with the Director Emeritus designation. In response to receiving the award, Banks said “PIABA is a wonderful organization that has helped countless investors and their lawyers over the years. I’m proud to be a member, and am deeply honored that PIABA has chosen me for this year’s Distinguished Service Award.”

Banks Talks Aequitas in New Oregonian Article

Samuels Yoelin Kantor attorney Bob Banks was featured again in the Oregonian this Sunday. The article, by Jeff Manning, focuses on the the ongoing Aequitas debacle. Also highlighted in the piece is latest case that Banks filed in Seattle last week for a group of investors who lost $11 million.

In the article, Manning states “Bob Banks, a Portland securities lawyer, is representing 18 investors in Washington and California who were clients of Strategic Capital and Private Advisory Group, investment advisors based in Gig Harbor and Redmond, Wash., respectively. Strategic Capital got into trouble with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2014. The company and its co-founder, Gary Price, were sanctioned by the agency for engaging in prohibited transactions…. Bank’s 18 clients agreed to invest between them more than $11 million in Aequitas. They claim Aequitas’ ownership of Private Advisory Group was never disclosed to them.”

Banks is quoted, saying that “when our clients hired Private Advisory Group, they trusted that they were getting unbiased professional investment advice… In fact, PAG was secretly owned by Aequitas. Our clients had no idea that they were  actually being advised by Aequitas to invest in Aequitas.”

Be sure to read the full article.

For more information about the ongoing Aequitas case, check out the Investor Defender Aequitas Investor Information Center.

Banks’s Case Regarding FINRA Highlighted in Investment News

Bob Banks’s case is highlighted in a story in Investment News about the FINRA arbitration expungement process.

Deleted: FINRA Erases Many Broker Disciplinary Records

Investor Defender attorneys Robert S. Banks Jr. and Darlene Pasieczny have the experience, knowledge, and dedication to help you. Mr. Banks himself has over 30 years experience representing investors in recovering millions of dollars in investment losses, and he has served on FINRA’s own National Arbitration and Mediation Committee. If you have any questions about the story and FINRA arbitration, or have concerns about your financial advisor or investment portfolio, please contact us and visit our website at investordefenders.com.

Banks Quoted in Investment News Article Regarding Expungement Language

Investor Defender attorney Robert S. Banks, Jr. was recently quoted by Investment News, in an article about FINRA arbitration expungement procedures.

Expungement has been a controversial issue because brokers are routinely granted arbitration awards that allow them to expunge, or forever erase, customer arbitration complaints from their BrokerCheck records.  The FINRA board is scheduled to consider incorporating the current arbitrators’ expungement guidance into the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure at an upcoming board meeting.  Mr. Banks commented that, while FINRA is correct in recognizing that expungement remains a problem, the changes under consideration will not solve the problem.

Robert S. Banks, Jr. has over 30 years experience representing investors in securities industry disputes and FINRA arbitration across the United States. His clients include institutional investors, pension funds, municipalities, fiduciaries, as well as individual investors. If you have concerns about your financial advisor or investment portfolio, please contact us and visit our website at investordefenders.com

Investor Defenders is a practice group of Samuels Yoelin Kantor LLP focused exclusively on investor advocacy.

FINRA Funds Multnomah Library Program

FINRA has announced $1.12M in grants to 14 recipients, funding a program called “Smart investing@your library”, jointly administered by the American Library Association and the FINRA Investor Education Program. One recipient of a $100,000 grant is the Multnomah County Public Library of Portland, Oregon. The library will “expand its mobile financial literacy labs tested under a previous grant…to connect vulnerable populations with curated financial and investor education resources.” These financial literacy lab lessons will include topics such as “creating a budget, establishing an emergency fund, paying down consumer debt, managing credit, avoiding scams and payday lenders, investing for retirement, safeguarding investments, understanding reverse mortgages, estate planning, and caring for and protecting elderly parents financially.”

(FINRA at http://www.finra.org/Newsroom/NewsReleases)

Florida Ponzi Worth $300M

The Securities and Exchange Commission’s Miami office has filed charges against five former Florida real estate executives for defrauding more than 1400 investors of $300M in a Ponzi scheme. The scheme guaranteed a 15% return on investments in five-star “Cay Clubs Resorts and Marinas” properties located in Florida and Las Vegas. The former CEO, Fred Davis Clark Jr., fled from Key Largo to the Cayman Islands in 2008 as the scheme collapsed. The Commission is likely to pursue a clawback against Clark, the four other executives, and any Cay Clubs investors who saw a net gain.

(Reuters at http://newsandinsight.thomsonreuters.com)

Attorney Darlene Pasieczny Takes Action To Assure Accurate BrokerCheck Records

Banks Law Office Securities attorney Darlene Pasieczny and fellow SRO Committee members assisted in PIABA’s recent comment letter to the SEC on proposed changes to adopt FINRA Rule 3110(e). The proposed change streamlines existing rules and adds new requirements for member firms when reviewing an applicant’s new or transfer Form U4 information. Accurate and complete U4 information is critical, because it includes a broker’s prior customer complaints, employment history, and certain regulatory, civil, and criminal disclosures. The U4 is a primary source of this information for FINRA’s BrokerCheck, the only on-line public database for this information. Wouldn’t you want to know that information before deciding whether to open an account with a broker?

PIABA supports the proposed rule changes but also recommends more expansive background checks by firms when reviewing the U4 information for accuracy.