The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently fined Piper Jaffray & Co. $700,000 for violations related to its failure to retain approximately 4.3 million e-mail messages from November 2002 through December 2008. FINRA also says in its compliant that Piper Jaffray “failed to inform FINRA of its e-mail retention and retrieval issues, which impacted the firm’s ability to comply completely with e-mail extraction requests from FINRA. It also may have affected the firm’s ability to respond fully to e-mail requests from other regulators or from parties in civil litigation or arbitrations.”
In settling this matter, FINRA says that Piper Jaffray neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.
“E-mail retention is a critical regulatory requirement with which broker/dealers must comply,” said James Shorris, FINRA executive VP and acting director of enforcement, in a statement. “Piper Jaffray failed to disclose that it was not making complete production of its e-mails due to intermittent problems with its systems–potentially preventing production of crucial evidence of improper conduct by the firm and its employees.”