Joseph C. Noyes IV, a stockbroker formerly registered with Santander Securities LLC, has been fined $5,000.00 and suspended from associating with any Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) member in any capacity based upon consenting to findings that Noyes falsified customer documents, and effected an annuity exchange which was not suitable for a customer. Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent, No. 2015046842401 (Jan. 20, 2017).

According to the AWC, from November of 2013 to January of 2014, two applications for variable annuities had been completed by Noyes for customers RS and LV, in which Noyes misstated the source which the customers intended to utilize to fund the annuities. Apparently, Noyes stated that customers’ RS and LV would be liquidating brokerage holdings, when in fact the customers would be exchanging their existing annuities and transferring the proceeds to annuities recommended by Noyes. FINRA found that Noyes’ conduct in this regard was violative of FINRA Rules 2010 and 4511.

The AWC further detailed that in 2013, an annuity recommendation which Noyes made to customer RS was unsuitable. Particularly, RS was advised by Noyes to sell RS’s existing annuity and to purchase a new annuity through Noyes, even though the existing annuity that RS held provided a five percent return, and the annuity that was recommended was due to provide returns of three and one-half percent based upon withdrawals having been effected in the first year of the annuity purchase.

The AWC revealed that RS intended on withdrawing funds to cover personal expenses, and that $7,645.86 in commissions had been paid to Noyes as a result of RS’s annuity purchase. FINRA found that RS stood to gain no financial benefit by switching from the former annuity to the annuity recommended by Noyes. FINRA held that Noyes lacked an adequate basis to conclude that his recommendation to RS was suitable. Consequently, Noyes’ conduct was deemed violative of FINRA Rules 2010, 2310, and 2110.

FINRA Public Disclosure reveals that on October 16, 2015, a customer initiated investment related complaint involving Noyes’ conduct was settled for $12,626.00 in damages based upon allegations that Noyes effected an unsuitable variable annuity transaction in the customer’s account, which caused the customer’s living income benefit payments to be reduced by $190.00 each month.

Noyes’ registration with Santander Securities LLC was terminated on March 28, 2014. From May 8, 2014, to December 10, 2014, he was registered with CCO Investment Services Corp. Since March 25, 2015, he has been registered with CUNA Brokerage Services, Inc.

Guiliano Law Group

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