As reported in Investment News, a FINRA arbitration panel recently ruled against PNC Investments LLC, the broker-dealer subsidiary of PNC Bank, and in favor of a former financial advisor, awarding her $1.8 million. The Award is notable because the panel elected to award the former representative $1.5 million in punitive damages, in addition to $300,000 in compensatory damages.
According to the Investment News article (and the text of the arbitration Award), the arbitrators also directed FINRA to modify the “termination explanation” language that PNC Investments had placed on the advisor’s Form U5, changing the U5 language to reflect that the representative’s discharge was “pre-textual, arbitrary and unreasonable.” As well, the panel directed expungement of the “yes” answer to the Termination Disclosure question on the representative’s Form U5 (Item 7F(1)), and assessed hearing fees of $14,750 solely against Respondent PNC. PNC Investments’ Form U5 language had previously reflected that the representative was terminated for “dishonesty and a violation of PNC Bank policy.”
The foregoing information is provided by Amato Law Firm, LLC and securities lawyer Ronald M. Amato. Mr. Amato, a former licensed securities professional (Series 7 and Series 63), has substantial experience representing financial advisors and other securities professionals in securities arbitration and securities-related employment and regulatory matters, and successfully has handled claims for Form U5 defamation against major brokerage firms. Mr. Amato has represented several former PNC Investments representatives in Form U5 disutes with the firm. He can be reached at (630) 352-2226 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.