Suing for UBS Sales Practice Violations in ETRACS and Declining Energy Prices

Stoltmann Law Offices is investigating UBS Financial Services for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) sales practice violations. They are related to UBS Exchange Traded Access Securities (ETRACS) whose performance is dependent upon commodity and energy prices, which have been in decline. ETRACS Exchange-Traded Notes (ETNs), or structured securities products, generate better returns through the use of embedded derivatives designed to track the performance of a volatile security, index, commodity or currency, sometimes without principal protection. An ETN is a senior, unsecured, unsubordinated debt security issued by an underwriting bank. Similar to other debt securities, ETN’s have a maturity date and backed only by the credit of the issuer. They are designed to provide investors access to the returns of various market benchmarks. They differ from other securities because their returns are based upon the performance of a market index. They are typically more risky than a simple “interest rate” credit because they are based on a volatile index or commodity. UBS underwrites and markets ETRACS NTNs to its customers including the following:


  • UBS ETRACS Alerian MLP Index ETN (NYSE Arca: AMU)
  • UBS ETRACS 2X Monthly Leveraged S&P MLP Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPV)
  • UBS ETRACS Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPI)
  • UBS ETRACS 2X Monthly Leveraged Long Alerian MLP Infrastructure Index ETN (NYSE Arca: MLPL)
  • UBS ETRACS CMCI Energy Total Return ETN (NYSE Arca: UBN)
  • UBS ETRACS CMCI Total Return ETN (NYSE Arca: UCI)
  • UBS ETRACS Bloomberg Commodity Index Total Return (NYSE Arca: DJCI

As of August 24, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a National Exam Program risk report which reviewed sales practices violations of brokerage firms related to the supervision and sale of Structured Securities Products, similar to those of UBS’s ETRACS ETNs. Deficiencies were discovered in some brokerage firms’ supervisory and sales practices related to the determination of suitability and levels of concentration in customer accounts. The ETN’s are not suitable for all customers. A broker must take into account the customer’s age, net worth, portfolio and investment sophistication, among other things when recommending securities such as ETNs. If the broker does not, his firm, in this case, UBS can be liable for investment losses you may have suffered. Please call our securities law firm in Chicago, Illinois at 312-332-4200 to speak to an attorney if you believe you suffered losses with UBS. The firm may be sued in the FINRA arbitration forum. The call is free with no obligation. We take cases on a contingency fee basis only.

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