Scottrade’s ‘Aggressive Selling Culture’ Drives Regulatory Action
A Scottrade location on 3rd Avenue in Manhattan.
Adam Jeffery | CNBC
Authorities in Massachusetts on Thursday accused discount brokerage firm Scottrade of engaging in aggressive and inappropriate sales practices, saying the company “knowingly” violated rules by linking sales contests to retirement accounts.
In a complaint filed Thursday, state regulators detailed “an aggressive sales culture” at Scottrade that violated federal laws requiring investment firms to act in the best interests of their clients when providing retirement advice.
Scottrade undermined this so-called fiduciary rule by encouraging brokers to “do additional business” before a planned merger with TD Ameritrade, and during the second half of 2017, “knowingly included retirement accounts as part of these competition “.
These incentives undermined Scottrade’s internal policies, officials said, and offered weekly cash prizes in the amount of $ 500 and $ 2,500 that involved the company’s agents making a number of calls. Cold. In a national competition, Scottrade reportedly offered $ 285,000 in incentives to gain and retain customers.
“Scottrade has not developed and implemented policies and procedures to separate retirement assets from the scope… of the sales competition,” the record said, and therefore did not abide by the fiduciary rule.
Among other actions, Commonwealth Secretary William Galvin asks Scottrade to return the profits he made from the alleged activities and asks for an undisclosed administrative fine.
A spokeswoman for TD Ameritrade, which acquired Scottrade in September 2017, declined to comment.