FINRA suspends ex-UBS rep for using WhatsApp
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has suspended Ramiro Luis Colon III for 30 days over alleged rule violations.
In 2006, Colon became registered with FINRA as a General Securities Representative, General Securities Principal, and Municipal Securities Principal through his association with FINRA member UBS Financial Services Inc. In 2007, he also became registered as a General Securities Sales Supervisor. On May 28, 2021, UBS filed a Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Registration (Form U5) on Colon’s behalf.
From September 2018 through April 2020, while associated with UBS, Colon used an unapproved third-party communication application, WhatsApp Messenger, to communicate with a firm customer about securities-related business.
At all times during the relevant period, UBS’s written supervisory procedures provided that electronic business communications could only be transmitted through firm sponsored and authorized systems in order to facilitate the firm’s preservation and supervision of such communications. Colon did not have authorization to communicate with any customer through WhatsApp Messenger, and UBS did not preserve or capture any such communications.
From September 2018 through April 2020, however, Colon exchanged hundreds of communications with a customer on WhatsApp Messenger about securities-related business.
Through this conduct, Colon violated FINRA Rules 4511 and 2010.
Respondent consents to the imposition of a 30-calendar day suspension from associating with any FINRA member in all capacities, and a $5,000 fine.