FINRA Announces 2011 Statistics; Focus on Branch Exams
FINRA released its 2011 disciplinary statistics, showing increases over 2010. FINRA brought 1441 disciplinary actions, levied $63 Million in fines, and ordered more than $19 Million in restitution. It also expelled 17 firms. Perhaps most significantly, FINRA referred over 600 matters to other regulators and law enforcement. FINRA also noted that it focused more resources on branch exams, indicating that it conducted 350 more branch exams (800 total) than last year.
OUR TAKE: Although the amounts collected by FINRA are not overwhelming (less than $60,000 per action), FINRA is seeking to carve out a role as the regulator that will uncover wrongdoing and then refer it to the appropriate regulator or law enforcement agency. Also, firms should understand the greater focus on branch exams.