May 20, 2011

Four-Year High in FINRA Enforcement Actions, Says Enforcement Chief

Nearly 450 cases have been brought through April, and amount of fines has increased, says FINRA's Bradley Bennett.

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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.

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