American Trust Investment Services Named in Bad Broker Study

American Trust Investment Services was named as a broker dealer that employs a large percentage of registered reps with publicly disclosable incidents.

A study commissioned by Reuters with the assistance of Columbia University Law School identified nearly fifty FINRA registered broker dealers where a large percentage of its brokers had “red flags” on their public disclosures.  FINRA requires broker dealers like American Trust Investment Services, as well as its registered representatives to update their industry record by disclosing information that could be of interest to potential and current customers and members of the public.

These red flags include customer disputes, arbitration claims, regulatory actions taken by FINRA, the SEC or state regulators, civil actions, bankruptcies and terminations after allegations of wrongdoing.

The study sought to identify firms who welcomed or tolerated brokers with these types of disclosures. The source of the data is FINRA’s own broker check database, which maintains licensing information, employment history and disclosable information.  While broker check is searchable, the information is not available wholesale, making the kind of study undertaken more time consuming.  Reuters, with the assistance of Columbia University Law School painstakingly compiled the data by identifying broker dealers with at least 20 registered reps, and then searched for reps with publicly disclosable red flags.  To make it on the list, the broker dealer had to have at least thirty percent of its brokers with one or more red flags. American Trust Investment Services was identified as having twenty eight brokers working for the firm, with  60% having publicly disclosable information.

Reuters reached out to American Trust Investment Services for comment but received no response.

American Trust Investment Services FINRA History

In order to lawfully sell investments to the public, a firm must either be registered or exempt from registration.  FINRA requires broker dealers to be registered, and requires all reps who sell securities to receive training and education and be properly licensed and supervised.

American Trust Investment Services is an Indiana corporation formed in 1968 and registered with FINRA, the SEC and in 32 states and territories.

According to FINRA’s CRD disclosure report, American Trust Investment Services has been the subject of two regulatory investigations, the most recent, in 2016.

 The Law Office of David Liebrader practices exclusively in the field of investment loss recovery.  For the past 24 years, we have dedicated our law practice to assisting investors who have been victims of investment fraud via fraudulent and unsuitable investment transactions.  During that time we have recovered money for over one thousand individuals, pension plans, trusts and companies.  The recoveries we have obtained via judgments, awards and settlements on behalf of our clients exceed $40,000,000.

When investors contact our firm they can expect prompt attention, and a detailed analysis of their issues.  Typical claims that we are asked to review  involve “unsuitability (where a financial advisor makes investment recommendations that are inconsistent with a customer’s investment objectives), claims for “churning” (where a broker enters into an excessive number of trades for the purpose of generating commissions), claims involving illiquid investments such as private placements (I.e., real estate investment trusts, limited partnerships, equipment leasing and oil and gas drilling programs) as well as claims for violations of state securities laws, which often provide investors remedies like attorney’s fees and interest, if they are successful on the claim.

If you suspect that you have been the victim of investment fraud, or had a financial advisor recommend unsuitable investments to you, call us today for a free, confidential consultation at (702) 380-3131.

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