Wells Fargo and two other companies must repay customers more than $30 million in mutual-fund-related overcharges, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Monday.
Two Wells units (Wells Fargo Advisors and Wells Fargo Advisors Financial Network), two Raymond James Financial units and LPL Financial failed to waive mutual-fund sales charges for more than 50,000 charitable and retirement-plan accounts at various times since at least July 2009, Finra said in a news release.
The Wells subsidiaries must pay $15 million in restitution and interest, Raymond James owes $8.7 million, and LPL has to pay $6.3 million, according to the release from Finra, a self-regulatory body for securities firms. LPL is on the hook for some additional repayments, the release said without giving specific figures.
Finra described all the repayments as settlements and said Wells, Raymond James and LPL neither admitted nor denied the charges. The three companies caught and reported the problems on their own, the release said.
Mutual funds offer several classes of shares that bear different fees. Mutual funds organized by the three investment advisory companies had failed to waive sales charges to eligible customers on certain types of low-fee shares, "unreasonably [relying] on financial advisers to waive charges for retirement and eligible charitable organization accounts, without providing them with critical information and training," the release said.