California’s many financial advisers who hold professional licenses in their field and manage clients’ investments have always been under a regulatory spotlight. A plethora of state and federal laws closely govern their conduct and render them potentially liable for alleged misconduct across the full spectrum of services they provide.
In short, it is no easy task to routinely stay abreast of the massive amount of regulation that marks the industry and to consistently remain in full compliance with all applicable laws. Bad-faith brokers and other financial pros do of course get into legal hot water with civil and criminal authorities, but so too do well-intentioned individuals who steadfastly focus on optimal client service.
We note on our website at the Century Law Group (with multiple offices across California) that the sanctions for perceived wrongdoing are severe and sometimes even draconian. They include “heavy fines, license suspension or revocation, or even criminal sanctions.”
The federal Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is the principal entity overseeing the nation’s brokers and administering penalties, which it does following formal findings issued by a Hearing Panel.
A recent national news focus on broker malfeasance and resulting regulatory exactions stresses that the heavy arsenal of punitive measures at FINRA’s command has just been augmented by yet another available sanction.
And that is this: hearing officers’ discretion to double down on a broker’s punishment if that individual has any prior history of coming out on the losing end in any previous arbitrations. That arrow was added to FINRA’s quiver on June 1.
As noted above, financial professionals can easily find themselves called before FINRA and in need of a strong legal defense. They can turn to lawyers who collectively command many decades of on-point experience to provide it.