Stockbroker expelled for 'churning'

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THE SECURITIES and Futures Authority has expelled a stockbroker and fined him pounds 26,000 plus pounds 14,500 costs for 'churning' the portfolios of three individual customers, two of whom were elderly and infirm.

The authority said that Mohammad Saeed Younis had traded his clients' portfolios excessively in order to earn commission at two firms, UK & General Securities, a stockbroker which went into liquidation in 1991, and before that in 1988 at another small broking firm.

The aggregate value of the three portfolios when the investors became customers of Mr Younis was about pounds 350,000, the SFA said. While he dealt on their behalf their losses were pounds 270,000 and the commission paid pounds 51,000.

In one case 73 transactions with an aggregate value 10 times that of the portfolio were undertaken in the first 10 days of dealing by Mr Younis. In another case a portfolio of about pounds 60,000 was reduced to pounds 10,000 after pounds 745,000 of transactions had been undertaken.

The disciplinary tribunal considering the matter found that the charges brought by the SFA were proved 'up to the hilt'. It said Mr Younis was 'a forceful and fast- talking operator with considerable powers of persuasion'.

He telephoned customers 'at all hours of the day' and was badgering them to agree. 'If they did not agree, he went ahead with the deals anyway'.

The broker at which Mr Younis served as a half-commission salesman in 1988 has compensated the two customers then involved. The Investors Compensation Scheme, a division of the Securities and Investments Board, declared UK & General in default in May last year and is considering compensation for the bulk of the losses Mr Younis incurred there.