Show Me the Money: FINRA Fines Up in 2012

Investment adviser complianceFINRA levied significantly more fines in 2012, according to Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP’s latest FINRA Sanctions Report.  Overall, fines increased by 15 percent, from $68 million in 2011 to $78.2 million in 2012.

The number of FINRA enforcement actions filed rose less sharply; FINRA filed 1,541 actions, an uptick of 3.6 percent over the prior year. However, 2012 represented the fourth consecutive year in which the number of cases increased.

The report also offers valuable information about FINRA’s priorities. FINRA’s top enforcement issues for 2012, as measured by total fines assessed, included:

  • Suitability
  • Due Diligence
  • Research Report and Research Analyst
  • Advertising
  • Exchange-Traded Fund (ETF)

The report also notes a number of “emerging trends,” such as enhanced scrutiny of  complex products, electronic communications, and auction rate securities.

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