More than $200-million in customer funds appears to be missing from the accounts of U.S. futures broker PFGBest, regulators said on Monday, just hours after the firm’s founder attempted suicide outside the company’s Iowa headquarters.
The suicide attempt and missing money renewed anxiety over the stability of the brokerage industry less than a year after the collapse of much larger MF Global. PFGBest told customers their funds had been frozen and clients would be allowed to liquidate open trading positions, but would not be able to withdraw funds or make new trades until further notice.
The National Futures Association (NFA), an industry group that also plays a regulatory role, said it had issued an emergency order to effectively freeze PFGBest’s operations after finding that a U.S. bank account the broker said contained $225-million in customer funds actually held only $5-million.
“It appears that PFG does not have sufficient assets to meet its obligations to its customers,” the NFA said.