FINRA Warns Firms about Recommending Complex Products
FINRA has issued a Regulatory Notice advising firms to implement a heightened supervisory system when recommending complex products. FINRA defines a â€œcomplex productâ€ as any product â€œwith multiple features that affect its investment returns differently under various scenarios.â€ FINRA provides a non-exclusive list of complex products: asset-backed securities, unlisted REITs, any product with an embedded derivative component (i.e. reference to another asset), structured notes, investments tied to the performance of other markets, principal-protected notes, and leveraged or inverse ETFs. Recommended supervisory procedures include a more robust product approval process, an ongoing review to determine if the products performed as anticipated, extensive training of registered representatives, and limiting sales to customers that would qualify for options trading.
OUR TAKE: If the product is not an equity, treasury, or mutual fund, treat it as a complex product.