Fidelity Brokerages Services LLC has been ordered to pay $110,000 to an elderly client whose account suffered major losses because it was repeatedly shuffled from agent to agent.
According to an arbitration panel of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the claimant in the case, Viola McNeill, 79, had a $700,000 account in Fidelity’s Portfolio Advisory Services (PAS) fee-based management program. In 2007, brokers at Fidelity recommended that McNeill convert her retirement and brokerage accounts into the fee-based account. She agreed, stating her investment objectives as preservation of capital and income.
As reported Sept. 24 by Investment News, McNeill suffers from Parkinson’s disease. Her PAS portfolio was weighted 60% stocks to 40% to fixed income. However, when her account was shuffled between various Fidelity brokers the allocation was never altered.
In 2009, McNeil became aware that her accounts had lost more money than she was withdrawing for living expenses, according to the Investment News article.