Churning – Definition and Cases

Churning – in a churning claim, the customer alleges that the broker purchased and sold securities solely to generate commissions, without regard to the customer’s investment objectives or goals. In the typical churning case, the customer must prove: 1) that the broker controlled the account; 2) that the trading was excessive in light of investment objectives; and 3) that the broker intended to defraud the customer or acted willfully or recklessly.

From InvestopediaChurning means excessive trading by a broker in a client’s account largely to generate commissions. Churning is an illegal and unethical practice that violates SEC rules and securities laws. While there is no quantitative measure for churning, frequent buying and selling of securities that does little to meet the client’s investment objectives may be construed as evidence of churning.



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