Law and Regulations

Watchdog FINRA puts hold on investors' Puerto Rico claims


Investors who claim they were burned by investments in closed-end Puerto Rico bond funds will have to wait for any resolution after a Wall Street watchdog put some of their cases on hold, lawyers said on Wednesday.

Investors' lawyers said the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority apparently doesn't have enough arbitrators to handle the growing number of claims in Puerto Rico.

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"We are reviewing options regarding venue and our arbitrator pools, among others,'' FINRA Regional Director Manly Ray wrote in a letter to Jeffrey Sonn, a lawyer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida whose firm is representing investors in 130 cases. Ray declined to comment for this story.

FINRA recently notified lawyers for investors that an administrative stay was being placed on all cases involving Puerto Rico bond funds that don't have arbitration panels, Sonn and other lawyers said.

Sonn's clients have claims against UBS Financial Services in Puerto Rico, accusing the firm of inappropriately putting their money in closed-end Puerto Rico bond funds.

—By Reuters

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