Equitable Advisors LLC a securities broker dealer headquartered in New York New York has been censured and fined $20,000.00 by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) supported by findings that Equitable Advisors tried to settle a customer initiated investment related complaint conditioned on the customer not contesting the removal of that complaint from FINRA Public Disclosure. Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent No. 2020067328101 (October 19, 2021).
According to the AWC, on December 10, 2018, a customer filed an investment related FINRA securities arbitration claim against Equitable Advisors. That arbitration claim alleges that a stockbroker of Equitable Advisors engaged in sales practice violations. In settling that dispute, the agreement called for the customer not to interfere with, object to, or oppose the stockbroker’s attempt at getting the dispute removed from their record.
FINRA pointed out that under Rule 2081, Equitable Advisors and its stockbrokers were prohibited from having a settlement conditioned on a customer’s agreement not to oppose expungement. Rule 2081 specifically removes the ability of the parties in arbitration to strike agreements based in part on promoting the stockbrokers’ ability to remove the complaint from their record. Equitable Advisors violated FINRA Rules 2010 and 2081.