13 firms are accused of failing to protect retail investors in sales of high-risk bonds issued by Puerto Rico’s debt-strapped government. The SEC’s first actions under a rule designed to protect municipal-bond investors from high-risk debt. Under settlement, the 13 firms have neither admitted nor denied their wrongdoing. With the possibility of stiffer sanctions if the alleged violation is repeated and firms agreeing to review policies and procedures and changing them to comply with the rule on minimum amounts.
In addition to Hapoalim Securities and Riedl First Securities, the firms and the amounts they were fined: Charles Schwab & Co., $61,800; Interactive Brokers LLC, $56,000; Investment Professionals Inc., $67,800; JPMorgan Securities, $54,000; Lebenthal & Co., $54,000; National Securities Corp., $60,000; Oppenheimer & Co., $61,200; Stifel Nicolaus & Co., $60,000; TD Ameritrade, $100,800; UBS Financial Services, $56,400; and Wedbush Securities Inc., $67,200.