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FINRA Hits Webull with $3M Fine for Permitting Unqualified Options Traders

Started by forex4you, Mar 13, 2023, 08:30 am

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FINRA Hits Webull with $3M Fine for Permitting Unqualified Options Traders

<p>The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has slammed a $3
million fine on the security broker, Webull for onboarding unqualified
options traders between December 2019 and July 2021. The membership-based
regulator, which is overseen by the United States Securities and Exchange
Commission, announced the fine on Thursday. </p><p>FINRA in a statement noted that Webull, which is the US-based subsidiary
of Chinese-owned Webull Corporation, did not exercise "reasonable due
diligence" before accepting options traders and failed to maintain a
"reasonably designed" supervisory system to note and respond to customer
complaints. In addition, the online broker, which was launched in 2017, failed
to forward to FINRA certain written customer complaints as required by the
regulatory body.</p><p>Webull's Automated Systems Fails to Detect Unqualified Options Trader</p><p>According to FINRA, Webull first started offering options trading to its
customers in December 2019. However, between that time and July 2021, the brokerage
firm's automated system for reviewing customer applications for options trading
failed to check new applications with  previously provided
information. </p><p>As a result of this failure, the brokerage regulator noted, Webull
sanctioned unqualified customers for options trading. This included 9,000
traders that stated that they had no prior investment experience and should have been
disqualified.</p><p>"For example, the firm approved more than 2,500 customers under the age
of 21 to trade options spreads, even though the firm's eligibility criteria
required customers to have at least three years of options trading experience
before being approved for that trading level," FINRA further explained.</p><p>FINRA Faults Webull Supervisory System</p><p>Furthermore, FINRA in its investigations into Webull's supervisory
system found that the broker's  mechanism for identifying and responding
to customer complaints was not "reasonably designed." Moreover, the regulator faulted Webull for not dedicating enough staff and resources needed to keep up
with the backlog of customer communications, including the complaints that it received.</p><p>"The firm also did not report certain written customer complaints to
FINRA, as required, including complaints that involved allegations of theft or
misappropriation," the regulator added.</p><p>Meanwhile, since the start of the year, FINRA has fined a number of other security brokerage firms. These include <a href="" target="_blank" rel="follow">SageTrader</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="follow">UBS Securities</a>, <a href="" target="_blank" rel="follow">BGC Financial</a> and <a href="" target="_blank" rel="follow">Nomura Securities</a>.</p>

This article was written by Solomon Oladipupo at

Source: FINRA Hits Webull with $3M Fine for Permitting Unqualified Options Traders
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