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Bankers Life paying $10M fine following securities probe

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CNO Financial Group Inc. has agreed to pay $9.9 million to settle allegations by regulators in four states that its Bankers Life subsidiary acted as an investment adviser and broker-dealer without proper licensing.

The Carmel-based company said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it will take a $10 million first-quarter charge related to the settlement, which calls for CNO to make payments to the states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont and Missouri and also cover "certain costs of the investigation."

An audit revealed Bankers Life was operating in some states where it was not licensed by affiliating with licensed brokers and then steering customers into its annuity products, Maine's Office of Securities said in a statement to Reuters.

The statement said the total cost to CNO Financial Group, including reimbursements and fees, would be $10.6 million.

CNO also agreed to surrender the license for its broker-dealer subsidiary, BLC Financial Services Inc, to both the SEC and regulators in Illinois, where it is based.

Financial advisers working for independent broker dealers will continue to sell Bankers Life products in the settlement states.

CNO Financial noted in its filing that state securities regulators acknowledged the conduct of Bankers and the now-eliminated BLC Financial Services resulted in "no known direct consumer harm."

"Bankers Life believes that this settlement provides additional clarity between the roles of agents and financial advisers and allows the company to continue to focus on providing the products and services its customers need," the company said.

Bankers Life has faced numerous complaints about the way it conducts business in recent years. 

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

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