Even as they fight a new regulation to better protect retirement savers, financial firms proclaim their commitment to acting in their customers’ best interests. They sure have a funny way of showing it. Not only do many financial firms pay their sales representatives in ways that encourage and reward harmful advice, new research from a group of University of Chicago economists suggests that some firms, particularly those that serve less sophisticated retail customers, actually “specialize” in misconduct.
These firms are more likely to hire, and less likely to fire, “financial advisers” who engage in unscrupulous conduct. Since advisers who’ve engaged in misconduct once are five times as likely to do so again, this practice poses a direct threat to the firm’s customers. The study identified the ten firms among those with at least 1,000 advisers that employ the highest percentage of advisers with a record of misconduct. View the fact sheet to see how their rhetoric stacks up against their actions.