More On Legal & Compliancefrom The Advisor's Professional Library
- Scope of the Fiduciary Duty Owed by Investment Advisors A fiduciary obligation goes beyond the suitability standard typically owed by registered representatives of broker-dealer firms to clients. The relationship is built on the premise that the advisor will always do the right thing for the person or entity receiving advice.
- Nothing but the Best Execution Along with the many other fiduciary obligations owed by RIAs, firms owe a duty to seek best execution of clients transactions. If they fail to do, RIAs violate Section 206 of the Investment Advisers Act.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brought more enforcement actions against broker-dealers through April 2011 than in the same period for the past three years, according to a Reuters report.
According to Bradley Bennett, the BD regulator's enforcement chief, FINRA has brought 449 cases through April 30, the highest amount for this four-month period since 2007. FINRA also has levied $14.5 million in fines, an increase from the same period last year, Bennett said during a May 18 Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association luncheon in New York.
By comparison, Reuters notes that, according to Bennett, FINRA brought 1,310 disciplinary actions and levied fines totaling $42.5 million for all of last year, compared with 1,158 actions and $48 million of fines in 2009.
Bennett also noted during the luncheon that the bulk of FINRA’s work, 70% to 80%, involves holding brokers accountable for basic rules, from mailing investment disclosures and vetting customers to protecting the privacy of client information.
In a related note, FINRA on May 15 launched the FINRA Disciplinary Actions Online database, a Web-based searchable system allowing investors to access brokers’ disciplinary actions via FINRA’s website at www.finra.org.