The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued $39.5 million in fines in 2019, a 35% drop from the $61 million in fines levied in 2018. The broker-dealer self-regulator allocated $12.5 million to its exam and disciplinary programs and $18.7 million to modernize, among other systems, the Central Registration Depository (CRD) licensing and registration system.
The FINRA Board determined that there were $71.1 million in fines-eligible expenditures in 2019.
The CRD transformation is expected to be complete in 2021. The goal is to increase the utility and efficiency of the registration and disclosure process for firms, investors and regulators, and to reduce compliance costs for firms, according to FINRA.
Enhancements were also made to the Securities Industry Essentials Exam as well as the Dispute Resolution systems.
In 2019, FINRA spent $1.3 million to analyze and develop initial requirements to use Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) data in its surveillance program.
The investments do not include expenses related to FINRA’s role as a participant in CAT LLC or FINRA CAT LLC’s role as the plan processor for the CAT.
CAT is a regulatory reporting tool commissioned by the SEC and being developed by FINRA.