Client doesn't remember

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Feb 7, 2006 11:34 am

about a year ago a client opened an account and deposited 100 shares of stock.


I recall my compliance dept. made me delay opening the account a few days because they were "waiting for some kind of approval".


After depositing the shares the client asked me to sell 60 shares and leave 40 in his account.


Long story short....he is now contesting that not only did he not authorize the sale of the 60 shares last year, but also that he did not receive the check for the proceeds.       He asked for a copy of the cashed check which I was able to furnish.


My compliance dept. is investigating.


Anything else I should be doing at this point..or just wait for compliance to contact me.


scrim

Feb 7, 2006 5:53 pm

I'm not a lawyer, so this is only a practical suggestion -- I'd suggest keeping in contact with compliance to make sure you're a part of their investigation, and get a sense of the direction they're taking.  Assuming the dollar amount is small it's easy for many firms to just unilaterally settle and pay the client, and you'll end up with a ding on your CRD, maybe even for unauthorized trading -- not a good thing.  You may also be hit with part of the settlement. So, make sure compliance knows that you're adamantly disputing the charge.


Also, if you haven't done so, research all your notes & correspondence that might reflect the client's instructions to you, and get those to compliance.  Also, I assume you've written up all the details of the event as you recall them and have given that to compliance, and have also checked with your sales assistant re anything she/he recalls of the event.

Feb 7, 2006 6:11 pm

Scrim,


Pack it in buddy- youre done.... They are gonna send you to the big house... The place where the lovin aint too gentle....


My advice is to cash in your savings, liquidate the 401K, break the lease on your apartment, sell all your cold weather clothes for a couple extra bucks, go to the dealership and take a car for a test drive you wont return, and start heading to Miami.... There, find a cr$ppy apartment in the Cuban district, chop the car for a couple bucks to furnish the cr$ppy papartment, immerse yourself in the neighborhood, get a low paying job selling souvenirs on the corner, get a job as a busboy at a club down there, sit on the beach and grab some sunshine.... Then, next month proceed to party away your life savings, drink excessively, flirt with random girls (or guys??), and enjoy your life... They will never find ya.....


Sorry- I had some time between appts here and I just booked my flight to the Winter Music Conference..... Just a little excited......

Feb 7, 2006 7:04 pm

What with your clients who don't remember and who change their minds, it sounds like you are having a string of bad luck.


Duke has good suggestions.   One thing I found that saved my bacon when I had clients who said that I didn't tell them things was my notes.  Take really good notes and keep them in the client files.  Keep all supporting documents of everything.  Really... everything. 


The best practice that I picked up somewhere along the way is to keep a hand written spiral bound journal that has all my notes on a daily basis.  Everything from who I talked to on the trading desk, client conversations, conversations with wholesalesers, personal notes, everything.  I transcribe the client notes to the clients electronic file from the notebook and keep copies of any proposals, bond inventory printouts or hypos I have discussed with the client in their paper files.   The spiral bound notebook is a mess because my handwriting sucks. If you need to go back to reference a certain date or conversation the journal, because it is spiral bound and you cant insert pages to fake it, will be a huge help if there is a dispute.


I have stacks and stacks of these 8 /12 x 11 books.  It also keeps me from losing notes that are on random bits of paper or post its.  Everything in one place.

Feb 7, 2006 8:23 pm

scrim67:

After depositing the shares the client asked me to sell 60 shares and leave 40 in his account.


Long story short....he is now contesting that not only did he not authorize the sale of the 60 shares last year, but also that he did not receive the check for the proceeds.       He asked for a copy of the cashed check which I was able to furnish.


-------------------------------------------


I'm betting this stock has gone up, since the sale of 60 shares. It's amazing how bad a client's memory is when the investment goes the other way!


My advice (when all this is cleared up) is dump this client fast. They're obviously nothing but trouble. Send them a compliance-approved letter, stating that you will be terminating your relationship with them in 30 days. State that they will need to transfer their account to another broker. Also state that, if they need to buy or sell anything in their account during this 30-day period, you will require written, signed, and notarized instructions from them.


Then wash your hands of this jerk!

Feb 7, 2006 8:53 pm

the last case I posted didn't involve me :)


this one has though.


I think compliance has some kind of history with this client.    I liked how he first said he never got either check from sales last year and this year but has since changed his story that he received the check this year but not from last year.


this guy is shady personified.


yes, I will fire my first client as soon as this is resolved!!


scrim

Feb 7, 2006 8:55 pm

one thing that is relevant.


believe it or not the stock is down from where he sold last year.


maybe he's just confused.


i'll let you know how this turns out


scrim

Feb 8, 2006 12:45 am
scrim67:

the last case I posted didn't involve me :)


this one has though.


I think compliance has some kind of history with this client.    I liked how he first said he never got either check from sales last year and this year but has since changed his story that he received the check this year but not from last year.


this guy is shady personified.


yes, I will fire my first client as soon as this is resolved!!


scrim



Scrim sit down with someone in compliance and share your concerns and ask what they are doing to protect you.  Once it gets to this point that is their responsibility to do so.


If you really start to get worried consult your own counsel.


But really I don't think it will get to that point, nor should you lose much sleep over this.  Keep in mind that the client received a confirmation for each transaction and as well a statement showing account activity.  Too, they have received a 1099.  There were ample opportunities for the client to dispute the transaction, and I think after this much time has passed it is unlikely that they have much of a leg to stand upon.



I'm not an attorney, but that's my 2 cents worth.   Good luck!