On March 31, 2021, a FINRA Dispute Resolution Services arbitration panel in Columbus, Ohio, ordered UBS Financial Services, Inc. (“UBS”) to pay customers over $372,000 in compensatory damages and fees. The claimants, Matthew and Lisa Fisher alleged that UBS and brokers Ortal Shachar and Richard Mark Held presented the Yield Enhancement Strategy (“YES”), an options strategy, as low risk. In actuality, the complexity and nature of YES exposed the Claimants to a significant risk of loss.
This order is the second arbitration award against UBS in March 2021 concerning YES and the third since December 2020. On March 5, 2021, another FINRA arbitration panel in Denver, Colorado, ordered UBS to pay customers over $1 million in compensatory damages. In December 2020, a FINRA arbitration panel in Boca Raton, Florida, awarded a customer nearly $90,000.
UBS has faced numerous lawsuits from customers in the form of FINRA securities arbitrations related to YES, a complex managed options strategy that UBS marketed as safe and market-neutral. The customers have claimed that the strategy was not suitable for them and that UBS materially misrepresented and omitted the risks of the strategy.