Minn. company settles with Mass. AG over alleged unfair sales practices

Nick Rees Oct. 22, 2009, 1:44pm


BOSTON (Legal Newsline) - Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley has reached an agreement with a Minnesota-based company over allegations of unfair sales practices in Massachusetts.

An Assurance of Discontinuance was filed against Ameriprise Financial Services, Inc., in Suffolk Superior Court under which Ameriprise has agreed to pay $200,000 to Massachusetts.

"We are pleased that Ameriprise has resolved this issue with our office," Coakley said. "It is imperative that employers statewide be vigilant when it comes to supervising their employees to ensure that they are playing by the rules and that consumers are not taken advantage of."

Ameriprise is also required to adhere to a variety of conduct rules relating to its sales practices and make restitution to any Massachusetts consumer that is identified by Coakley's office relating to the alleged conduct of six of Ameriprise's financial advisors.

By agreeing to the settlement, Ameriprise resolves allegations that it failed to supervise certain advisors in connections with its business practices. Certain Ameriprise advisors were found to have engaged in unfair and deceptive trade practices, including charging customers in some instances for undelivered financial plans.

The advisors were alleged to have failed to disclose fees for financial plans, forged client signatures on transactions and sold unsuitable mutual funds and insurance products to Massachusetts customers.

Ameriprise has agreed, under terms of the settlement, to implement rules that will prevent future misconduct by financial advisors and will promote sufficient supervisory procedures.

Ameriprise's sales practices going forward will also be monitored by an ongoing review by the attorney general's office in order to protect Massachusetts consumers.

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