Top Broker Thomas Buck: First Fired, Now Barred

According to a Letter of Acceptance Waiver and Consent filed with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), Thomas Buck has been barred by FINRA from working with any FINRA member firms. Mr. Buck was a former top broker at Bank of America Merrill Lynch and was at the time a broker at RBC Wealth Management.

Mr. Buck was a registered broker at Merrill Lynch’s Carmel, Indiana office, which was part of the firm’s Indiana complex. While at Merrill Lynch, Mr. Buck, who reportedly oversaw $1.3 billion in assets, was accused of failing to discuss pricing alternatives with customers, among other allegations.  In addition, Mr. Buck was accused of unauthorized trading and using discretion in customer accounts improperly and in violation of FINRA Rules.

Buck was reportedly fired from Merrill Lynch in March.  Just four months after, he was reported as being barred from working at any FINRA-associated broker-dealer.  According to FINRA, Mr. Buck used commission-based accounts even though fee-based accounts would have been less expensive for clients. In some cases, clients were allegedly charged significantly more in commissions by virtue of the fact that they were not placed in fee-based accounts.

The extent of Mr. Buck’s use of commission-based accounts, if true, is shocking.  Nearly 80% of the revenues generated by Buck were from commission-based activity, according to the AWC.  Whereas, 70% of the revenue generated at the Indiana complex that housed Buck’s group was said to be from fee-based accounts.  Not only did he allegedly mislead clients about the two account options, but he also is said to have actively engaged in unauthorized trading.

Mr. Buck, who had 33 years of experience in the securities industry, has 12 customer disputes according to his FINRA BrokerCheck report. These disputes were all filed in 2015 and seem to stem from his actions at Merrill Lynch.

Malecki Law has previously represented many investors successfully in FINRA arbitration proceedings involving  firms’ failures to supervise their registered representatives and financial advisors.  If you believe you have suffered losses as a result of questionable actions taken in your securities account, please contact us immediately for a confidential consultation.

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