FINRA Enforcement Reveals Interesting Disciplinary Statistics
According to the data released by FINRA, customer complaints and the total amount of fines have been falling. However, enforcement actions related to record keeping and advertising increased.
Total fines reported fell by 27% to $57 million last year from $78 million in 2012. The number of major fines and big penalties of more than $1 million dropped to about $18.5 million from 43 million in 2012. Likewise, fines related to disciplinary violations fell for a second year to $65 million after topping at $71.9 million in 2011. Fines for suitability violation dropped to $5.1 million last year, from $19.4 million in 2012
In addition, investor complaints also have declined steadily from 5,067 in 2012 to less than half 2,334 last year. Cases related to suitability, a common complaint in product failure cases related to the financial crisis, dropped 38% to 73 last year from 117 in 2012.
The total number of enforcement actions brought, however, remained almost flat at 1,535 last year.
Fines related to electronic communications, which include retention and supervision of emails, jumped 132% to $15.1 million last year from $6.5 million in 2012, despite the fact that FINRA brought just 66 cases, nearly the same as the year before. These fines included a $7.5 million fine against LPL Financial.
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