Fines imposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority during the first half of 2015 totaled $37.5 million, and the agency appears on track to impose this year the second-highest amount of fines since the financial crisis.
According to data released Monday by the law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan, FINRA imposed $135 million in fines last year, and if the regulator continues at its current pace will impose a projected fine total of $75 million.
Despite the drop-off in total fines, the top fine getters for FINRA during the first half of 2015, in terms of the total fines reported in FINRA’s monthly Disciplinary and Other FINRA Actions reports and news releases, were:
— Trade Reporting: $7.6 million in fines (72 cases);
— Short Selling: $4.2 million in fines (21 cases);
— Anti-Money Laundering: $2.4 million in fines (20 cases);
— Best Execution: $2.3 million in fines (25 cases); and
— Suitability: $2.2 million in fines (30 cases)
Brian Rubin, head of Sutherland’s Washington litigation practice group, said in releasing the findings that “despite significant decreases in certain areas that appear to have been priorities in 2014, the first six months of 2015 indicate that FINRA will assess substantial fines this year, even if FINRA does not match 2014’s total fines.”