New York, New York (Globe Newswire) — August 12, 2016 — The Securities Arbitration Law Firm of Klayman & Toskes, P.A., www.nasd-law.com, announces investigation of MetLife Securities Inc. (“MetLife”) misconduct in light of $20 million in fines and $5 million in restitution imposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), for violations related to variable annuity replacement transactions. According to the Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, (FINRA No. 2014040870001), the fines and restitutions were due to FINRA’s findings that MetLife had made “negligent material misrepresentations and omissions on variable annuity (“VA”) replacement applications for tens of thousands of customers.”
FINRA commented that these misrepresentations “made the replacement [variable annuity] appear more beneficial to the customer, even though the recommended VAs were typically more expensive than customers’ existing VAs.” In addition, FINRA reported that during the time period of 2009-2014, MetLife made material misrepresentations and omissions in 72% of the 35,500 replacement applications the firm approved for variable annuities, examples of which included but were not limited to:
- “MetLife informed customers that their existing variable annuity was more expensive than the recommended replacement, when in fact, the current one was less expensive;
- MetLife failed to disclose to customers that the proposed replacement would reduce or eliminate important features in their existing variable annuity, such as accrued death benefits, guaranteed income benefits, and a guaranteed fixed interest account rider; and
- MetLife understated the value of customers’ existing death benefits in disclosures mandated by Reg. 60.”
According to securities attorney Lawrence L. Klayman, “Our investigation is focused on the MetLife sales practices that resulted in the replacement of existing variable annuities which led to a significant loss of benefits due to the reliance upon misrepresentations, conflicts of interest and a failure to supervise.” K&T’s investigation is related to investments in MetLife variable annuities, including:
- MetLife Access VA;
- MetLife Access Select VA;
- MetLife Accumulation VA;
- MetLife Asset Builder VA;
- MetLife Flexible Premium Deferred VA;
- MetLife Investors VA;
- MetLife Investors Custom Select VA; and
- MetLife Investors COVA VA.
Current and former customers of MetLife who have information relating to the manner in which MetLife represented these financial products are encouraged to contact Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq. or Raymond Gentile, Esq. of Klayman & Toskes at (888) 997-9956, or visit our website at www.nasd-law.com.
About Klayman & Toskes, P.A.
K&T is a leading national securities law firm which practices exclusively in the field of securities arbitration and litigation, on behalf of retail and institutional investors throughout the world in large and complex securities matters. The firm represents high net-worth, ultra-high-net-worth, and institutional investors, such as non-profit organizations, unions, public and multi-employer pension funds. K&T has office locations in California, Florida, New York and Puerto Rico.
Klayman & Toskes, P.A.
Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq.
Raymond Gentile, Esq.