FINRA Enforcement Reveals Interesting Disciplinary Statistics

Posted on May 28th, 2014 at 5:47 PM

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law Offices:

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

The attorneys of Eccleston Law Offices represent investors and advisers nationwide in securities and employment matters. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 50 years in delivering the highest quality legal services.


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Jim, Stephany and the whole team were a God send.  We felt like we were put into a situation where we had no advocate. Jim’s team came in with a strong, well laid out strategy on how to get our story heard. Where our outside compliance company had no ability to help, our Broker Dealer was impenitent, and the regulators were aggressive pursuing vague rules, Jim came like a barricade against an assault we did not understand. Though you pay member dues to be affiliated with FINRA and a B/D, you have no voice. The only thing that is truly heard in this un-level playing field is a bulldog’s bark like Jim’s. I would encourage anyone to call Jim and his team to find a real ally in the tough and complicated world of securities regulation. They are truly the best.

Greg P.


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