FINRA Dramatically Increases Fines In 2014, Focuses On Elder Abuse

Feb. 26, 2015
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Craig Wendland

The Financial Industry Regulation Authority (“FINRA”) is the regulatory authority  which monitors member brokerage firms and exchange markets within the U.S.  In 2014 FINRA assigned more than double the fines against members than it had in 2013, signaling a strong message from FINRA about its authority, oversight and enforcement actions.

FINRA’s penalties, which stood at $28 million in 2008, have shown a steady year-to-year increase, culminating in the dramatic increase from $60 million in 2013 to $135 million in 2014.  As reported by the Wall Street Journal, FINRA also ordered members to provide $52 million in restitution… up five-fold from 2013.

The fines were especially dramatic in cases involving elders and retirees, with cumulative penalties increasing nearly forty-fold from 2013, from $213,000 in 2013 to over $8 million in 2014, with similar jumps in restitution to seniors.

Notably, while cumulative fines were up, the number of disciplinary actions declined almost 10% since 2013.

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