FINRA suspends former Merrill Lynch broker over outside business activities

On Behalf of | Nov 25, 2022 | Broker Misconduct

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has suspended and fined a former broker for Merrill Lynch who was discharged from the firm over his outside business activities, AdvisorHub reports.

FINRA announced the action against Christopher T. Eriksson, who was based in Merrill’s Wayzata, Minnesota office and was with the company from 2005 until being terminated in October 2020.

Eriksson was fired for running three undisclosed outside businesses without seeking approvals from the firm that were required, and for entering into a financial arrangement with a client without the firm’s knowledge or approval. The business activities he pursued included an auto recycling business in Texas, three automobile salvage companies, and two commercial real estate holdings to be used for rental income. He submitted questionnaire responses to the firm which failed to disclose those activities, according to his BrokerCheck report.

FINRA said Eriksson also borrowed $350,000 from a Merrill Lynch customer without notifying or getting prior approval the firm. The principal and interest of the loan was later paid in full. He was found to be in violation of FINRA Rule 2010, which requires members to observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.

In the settlement issued by FINRA, Eriksson did not admit or deny the findings, but did consent to a suspension of six months and a fine of $10,000.

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