November 24, 2014
This is Part 2 of a three part BrokeAndBroker Blog commentary. If you've started here, you need to go back and first read Part 1, where you will be advised to get a cup of coffee and find yourself a nice donut. Okay . . . now, sit down and make a modest investment of your time. This is a three-part BrokeAndBroker.com Blog with a bit of a surprise ending. By way of spoiler alert: FINRA settled charges involving records that were altered during an in-house audit at UBS. It's not so much what's said by FINRA about this misconduct that has Bill Singer apoplectic (after all, it doesn't take that much to get Bill upset), it's what is not said by FINRA that underscores so much of the nonsense and silliness that has become Wall Street regulation. READ Part 1 BEFORE Proceeding.
The Curnyn AWC
For the purpose of proposing a settlement of rule violations alleged by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority ("FINRA"), without admitting or denying the findings, prior to a regulatory hearing, and without an adjudication of any issue, Susan Ann Curnyn submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent ("AWC"), which FINRA accepted. In the Matter of Susan Ann Curnyn, Respondent (AWC #2013035537601, November 17, 2014).
In 1985, Curnyn first became registered and by January 28, 1995, she was registered as a General Securities Representative and General Securities Sales Supervisor with FINRA member firm UBS Financial Service, Inc. The AWC asserts that Curnyn had no prior formal disciplinary history with the Securities and Exchange Commission, any self-regulatory organization or any state securities regulator.
The UBS Branch Audit
In November 2012, UBS staff was auditing the branch where Curnyn worked as a Branch Control Officer and she also was a member of the firm's compliance group. The AWC alleges that the audit staff asked the Branch to produce, among other items, copies of marketing materials used by registered representatives for client events. In response to said requests, Curnyn's supervisor, who is referenced in this AWC as "JL" is said to have "delegated" the task of production to Curnyn.
As the audit progressed, the AWC alleges that JL and Curnyn became aware that the requested marketing materials were missing necessary information, including certain disclosures. Apparently, Curnyn worked in conjunction with other unnamed employees to add the missing information, and the altered documents were then submitted by JL and Curnyn to the audit staff, which mislead said staff into believing that they had received marketing materials as prepared and maintained by the Branch.
According to this AWC, another unnamed UBS employee alerted an unnamed audit department manager about Curnyn's misconduct. That audit department manager then contacted Curnyn and told her to stop what she was doing. Thereafter, Curnyn went and spoke to JL, and subsequently her branch manager, about the matter.
SIDE BAR: This is a direct quote from the Curnyn AWC:
[T]hereafter, another UBS employee alerted an audit department manager about Curnyn's misconduct. That audit department manager then contacted Curnyn and told her to stop what she was doing. Thereafter, Curnyn went and spoke to JL, and subsequently her branch manager, about the matter. . .
The AWC asserts that on November 26,2012, UBS filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration ("Form U5") disclosing that Curnyn's employment was voluntarily terminated on November 16, 2012.
Fine And Suspension
FINRA deemed Curnyn's conduct to have constituted a violation of FINRA Rule 2010. In accordance with the terms of the AWC, FINRA imposed upon Curnyn a $5,000 fine and a two-month suspension from association with any FINRA member in any and all capacities.
Bill Singer's Comment
Who the hell is "JL" ? Who the hell is "her branch manager"? I don't know becuase FINRA didn't disclose those names. To be clear, very clear, there is not a single reference to JL's full name or that of the cited branch manager in the Curnyn AWC. Moreover, we don't even have a reference to another AWC, if such exist, pertaining to the same underlying matters as set forth in the Curnyn AWC. Alas -- Wall Street's largest self-regulatory organization doesn't seem to think that we need to know that. So much for content and context.