Attention Webull Financial Customers: $3 Million Options-Related Fine 

March 16, 2023

Investment Losses at Webull Financial? KlaymanToskes Has Recovery Options

National investment fraud lawyers KlaymanToskes is investigating Webull Financial, LLC, following the firm’s censure and $3,000,000 fine from FINRA (“Financial Industry Regulatory Authority”) in connection with the firm’s alleged failure to exercise due diligence regarding options trading in customer accounts and to maintain a supervisory system.

Investors that suffered at least $100,000 in losses at Webull Financial and/or at the hands of the firm’s financial professionals are encouraged to contact attorney Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq. at (888) 997-9956 or lklayman@klaymantoskes.com for a free consultation to discuss recovery options. We do not collect attorney’s fees unless we obtain a financial recovery for you.

Webull’s $3M Fine for Failure to Maintain a Supervisory System

Webull Financial, LLC, entered into a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver, and Consent (“AWC”) with FINRA’s Department of Enforcement on February 27th, 2023, which disclosed that the Department censured and fined the firm $3,000,000. Webull Financial was censured for failure to exercise reasonable due diligence related to options trading in customer accounts and for failure to establish and maintain a supervisory system in compliance with securities laws and FINRA rules.

According to the AWC, Webull Financial’s automated system that the firm used to approve customers for options trading allegedly failed to consider information previously provided to the firm and only considered information that the customer provided in his/her most recent options suitability questionnaire.

The AWC describes an example where, despite the firm requiring “that customers seeking approval to trade options spreads (a privilege granted only to customers approved for ‘level 3’ options trading authority) have at least three years of options trading experience,” the firm approved “more than 2,500 customers under the age of 21 to trade options spreads” even though they did not have had at least three years of options trading experience before being approved. 

The Department found that from December 2019, when the firm first began offering options trading, through at least July 2021, the firm’s supervisory system was not reasonably designed to achieve compliance with FINRA Rule 2360(b)(16) (Options). The AWC further alleges that errors in the programming of the automated system resulted in approvals for more than 9,000 accounts for level 1 options trading authority that did not satisfy the firm’s eligibility criteria.

In addition, the AWC alleges that from May 2018 to December 2021, Webull’s system for identifying and responding to customer complaints was “not reasonably designed to identify and respond to the volume of customer complaints received.” The findings state that in 2020, the firm reported “a total of only 69 written customer complaints despite receiving over 500,000 written customer communications that year.” In December 2020, the firm received more than 88,000 written customer communications, but only 15 were escalated for review as potential customer complaints. 

What FINRA Rules Did Webull Financial Violate?

Webull Financial, LLC consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings, without admitting or denying the charges. FINRA found the firm in violation of the following securities rules:

  • Violation of FINRA Rule 2360(b)(16) which requires that, “in approving accounts for options trading, firms exercise due diligence to ascertain “the essential facts relative to the customer,” including the customer’s age, income, net worth, investment objectives, and investment experience and knowledge.” 
  • Violation of FINRA Rule 3110(a) which “requires each member firm to establish and maintain a system to supervise the activities of each associated person that is reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations, and with applicable FINRA rules.” 
  • Violation of FINRA Rule 3110(b)(5) which “requires member firms to establish, maintain, and enforce reasonably designed written supervisory procedures ‘to capture, acknowledge, and respond to all written (including electronic) customer complaints’.”
  • Violation of FINRA Rule 4530, which “requires member firms to report to FINRA certain customer complaints,” due to findings that from May 2018 to December 2021, the firm reported no complaints under FINRA Rule 4530(a)(1)(B) despite the fact that it received numerous written complaints alleging misappropriation or theft. 
  • A violation of FINRA Rule 4530 also constitutes a violation of FINRA Rule 2010 which requires brokerage firms and their registered representatives to “observe high standards of commercial honor and just and equitable principles of trade.”
  • Violation of FINRA Rule 2360(b)(17) which requires “each member firm to maintain and keep a separate central log, index, or other file for all options-related complaints, through which the complaints can easily be identified and retrieved,” due to findings that the firm started offering options trading in December 2019 but did not maintain a separate options complaint log until January 2021, which was still incomplete. 

How Can I Recover My Losses?

When brokers/advisors and brokerage firms fail to act in the best interest of their clients, they are violating securities laws. Investors that suffer investment losses as a result of their firm violating securities rules and regulations may hold their broker/advisor and brokerage firm responsible for their losses through FINRA arbitration.

Former and current customers of Webull Financial that suffered investment losses are encouraged to contact our firm immediately to discuss recovery options at 888-997-9956 or on the web at www.klaymantoskes.com. Every case is taken on a contingency basis, meaning we do not collect attorney’s fees unless we are able to obtain a financial recovery for you. 

About KlaymanToskes

KlaymanToskes is a leading national securities law firm which practices exclusively in the field of securities arbitration on behalf of retail and institutional investors throughout the world in large and complex securities matters. The firm has recovered over $250 million in FINRA arbitrations and over $350 million in other securities litigation matters. KlaymanToskes has office locations in California, Florida, New York, and Puerto Rico. 


KlaymanToskes, P.A.
Lawrence L. Klayman, Esq.