Brokerage units of Stifel Financial Corp will pay more than $1 million to settle civil charges alleging they sold risky exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that were ill-suited to certain customers, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) reported. Stifel, Nicolaus & Co Inc and Century Securities Associates Inc will pay fines of $550,000 and restitution of $475,000 to 65 harmed customers without admitting or denying the charges, FINRA announced. As Wall Street’s self-funded regulator, FINRA, has been scrutinizing the risky ETFs at the heart of the case — leveraged and inverse products. Both FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission have been looking more closely into such funds to see if they are adequately transparent for retail investors and fueling undue market volatility.
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