Financial conflicts of interest are rampant with both big and small broker-dealers. This results in broker-dealers selling products without adequate due diligence or even reckless or fraudulent due diligence.
This often leads to financial advisors selling products without adequate or accurate information and, at times, selling products they don’t even understand. An SEC executive seems to now agree.
According to a story in Investment News today, Julius Leiman-Carbia, associate director in charge of the National Broker-Dealer Examination Program in the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, told a panel discussion at FINRA’s annual meeting that he wonders if brokers really understand all the products they are selling.
The complex products being sold today are often very lucrative for the broker-dealers and their sales force to sell. This often blinds the securities industry to the fact that they are pushing investors into products that lack both transparency and liquidity, which are two of the major culprits of the financial crisis we recently experienced.
It is as if the securities industry focused on how to improve its sagging profits coming out of the financial crisis as opposed to fixing the platforms and products it recommended to investors.