A unit of UBS is objecting to a plan that would allow hundreds of investors who lost money in closed-end Puerto Rico bond funds to arbitrate their claims against the firm on the U.S. mainland, according to people familiar with the matter.
Reuters reports that a lead lawyer for UBS Financial Services in Puerto Rico, one of the firms that sold the funds, raised the objection at a closed-door meeting on Thursday between officials from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and lawyers for brokerage firms and investors, the sources said. FINRA, Wall Street's industry-funded watchdog, runs the forum in which investors and brokerages must resolve their legal disputes.
The group met to discuss how to deal with the logistics of hearing a mounting number of arbitration cases in Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory in the Caribbean where distance, a language barrier and a limited number of arbitrators are presenting challenges for FINRA.
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