An American investment company has got itself into trouble – this time for alleged violations of client privacy.
According to a report at Wealthmanagement.com, Raymond James will pay $500,000 after falling foul of Finra as it allegedly allowed employees to help new recruits to pre-populate documents based on client data from previous broker-dealers.
The report suggests that some of the information used was not public – and included account details, addresses and phone numbers. It was taken without the consent of the clients and was therefore in violation of Regulation S-P. Cases included those who resided in states where prior consent is needed before information is shared; and others where information was taken without the consent of the consumer.
Speaking to the web publication, securities attorney Bill Singer commented that many brokers migrate client data when they move firms: even though they realize that rules are being violated. He also believes that Finra is aware of this fact going as far as to say that the regulator “needs to stop being so hypocritical” and describing its use of Regulation S-P as like a “speed trap where they can generate fines”.
A statement by Raymond James outlined that information was only moved between companies for business purposes and that there was no breach of data. The data, it states, was not exposed in a manner that could have led to illegal use.
However, it is not the first time that the company has had issues with Regulation S-P. Back in 2012, the firm was fined $250,000 after failing to allow clients to opt out of a document management system that ultimately posted private information online.