As remote online test-taking kicks into full gear, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s enforcement chief warns that cheating almost always ends with a permanent bar from the broker-dealer industry.
In a Monday blog post, Jessica Hopper, executive vice president of enforcement, notes that while the “means and methods to cheat on FINRA exams have varied greatly,” if someone is caught cheating FINRA’s enforcement division “will pursue disciplinary action against the individual and, in most instances, seek to bar them” from the broker-dealer industry.
Cheating on a qualification exam, in fact, is one of the three rule violations in FINRA’s Sanction Guidelines for which a bar is the standard sanction recommended.
Due to COVID-19, FINRA started administering remote exams July 13.
FINRA plans to issue in the coming weeks a Regulatory Notice seeking comment on a “new expedited proceeding” rule for reps and nonreps who cheat on exams.
The notice will also seek comment on FINRA Qualification Examinations Rules of Conduct as well as corresponding amendments to the registration requirements rule, Rule 1210.
Hopper notes that every year, FINRA enforcement brings disciplinary actions against individuals caught cheating on FINRA exams.