Sutherland Releases Report on FINRA Enforcement Activity
A review of FINRA’s 2012 disciplinary actions by law firm Sutherland Asbill & Brennan shows yet another increase in actions and a dramatic increase in fines. Total actions increased for the fourth year in a row. FINRA filed 1541 actions last year as compared to 1073 in 2008. Total fines increased to $78.2 Million from $68 Million the previous year and $28 Million in 2008. Sutherland has identified the top enforcement priorities (measured in total fines) as (1) suitability, (2) due diligence especially of complex products and alternative investments, (3) research reports, (4) advertising, and (5) exchange-traded funds. Sutherland identifies the following trends: (a) supersized fines of more than $1 Million, (b) complex product cases, and (c) a focus on electronic communications.
OUR TAKE: Nice work by Sutherland to give the industry some perspective on FINRA’s active enforcement agenda.