Among recent enforcement actions, FINRA sanctioned and fined a number of firms for everything from failure to register and supervise foreign personnel to statement failures and other compliance violations.
FINRA Sanctions Monex Securities $1.3 Million Over Foreign Reps
FINRA has announced that it has ordered Monex Securities Inc. to pay $1.1 million in disgorgement of commissions, plus interest, obtained by unregistered foreign individuals who sold securities on the firm’s behalf. In addition, the agency fined Monex $175,000 for failing to register those foreign representatives and for related supervisory deficiencies that spanned two and a half years.
Also, Jorge Martin Ramos Landero (Ramos), Monex’s president and chief compliance officer, was suspended from acting in a principal capacity for 45 days and fined $15,000.
According to FINRA, Ramos executed an agreement on behalf of Monex with its parent company in Mexico that allowed numerous employees to conduct securities business on Monex’s behalf by, among other things, collecting client information needed to open accounts, making investment recommendations to clients and transmitting orders.
Monex paid these people transaction-related compensation for this work, despite the fact that none of them was registered in any capacity with FINRA. Ramos and Monex also failed to establish, maintain and enforce supervisory systems and written procedures to ensure compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations.
While Monex and Ramos have neither admitted nor denied the charges, both consented to FINRA’s findings.
Morgan Stanley Censured, Fined $800,000
Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC was censured by FINRA and fined $800,000 on findings that it failed to issue account statements and confirmations for numerous global stock plan services group (GSPS) customer accounts and transactions.
According to FINRA, when the firm did issue GSPS account statements and confirmations, they failed to disclose required information including whether the firm acted in an agency or principal capacity, and the market value of the securities so as to provide the dollar amount of the opening and closing account balances.