A former UBS broker was ordered to pay the firm more than $4 million by a FINRA arbitration panel, a claim representing more than half of the total awards handed out by the regulator against advisors this month.
Michael Britt Doyle had been with UBS for four years when he left the firm in 2011 to join an independent advisor firm in San Francisco, according to FINRA BrokerCheck.
UBS filed a claim for $3.66 million against Doyle soon after, arguing breach of contract, according to the dispute resolution record. Representing himself, Doyle claimed "unconscionability based on fraudulent inducement," among his defenses.
The claim went through a series of motions before a San Francisco panel decided on the case on Jan. 14, granting UBS the entirety of its $3,664,710 claim against Doyle, in addition to interest at a rate of 4% for four years on the full amount and UBS's entire legal fees, totaling $447,501.
According to FINRA records, last July, Doyle was permitted to resign from the independent advisory after an internal investigation revealed that he had "borrowed a significant amount of money from a customer."
Doyle, according to FINRA, had more than 22 years in the industry. He is no longer registered with the regulator. When contacted, Doyle, who now is an independent consultant, declined to comment on the panel decision.
"UBS is pleased with the panel’s decision and looks forward to collecting on the judgment," said firm spokesman Gregg Rosenberg.
So far in January, FINRA arbitration panels have awarded more than $5.5 million to member firms in bonus clawback claims against former advisors, according to case filings with the regulator.