The United States Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has temporarily suspended a former UBS trader over executing more than a hundred trades in an outside account for which he had not obtained the bank’s consent.
Brandon Lopez has submitted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (AWC) for the purpose of proposing a settlement of the alleged rule violations.
On June 26, 2017, Lopez associated with UBS Financial Services Inc., as a non- registered fingerprint person. Lopez worked in a middle office role. Among other duties, Lopez facilitated the settlement of trades and reconciled trading desk positions against the investment bank’s positions. Lopez also was responsible for booking certain transactions in options and structured products.
On March 3, 2020, UBS filed an amended Form NRF disclosing the termination of the non-registered fingerprint relationship with Lopez on February 7, 2020.
In March 2017, prior to associating with UBS, Lopez opened a personal investment account at another member firm. After associating with UBS in June 2017, he did not disclose or obtain the written consent required to maintain his outside investment account. He also failed to notify the firm where he maintained the account of his employment with UBS.
Between October 2018 and November 2019, Lopez executed 141 options trades in 28 different securities in the outside account. Lopez closed his outside investment account in January 2020, after the firm questioned him about outside investment accounts pursuant to a FINRA inquiry.
During the above period, Lopez also falsely attested twice on firm compliance questionnaires that he understood and followed the firm’s outside investment account disclosure requirements.
By failing to disclose and obtain the written consent of UBS to maintain the outside investment account, and by failing to notify the member firm where the account was maintained of his employment with UBS, Lopez violated FINRA Rule 3210.
A violation of FINRA Rule 3210 is also a violation of FINRA Rule 2010, which requires that registered representatives, in the conduct of their business, shall “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.”
Lopez has consented to a two-month suspension from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities and to a $2,500 fine.