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What CA financial professionals need to know about FINRA

Today’s blog post focuses on a dominant actor in the industry that oversees and regulates the country’s broker dealers and other financial advisers.

More people certainly take note of that entity via its shortened abbreviation rather than by the formally designated tag of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.

The acronym we stress today is FINRA, the shorthand form for a body that is central in the investment/securities world.

FINRA can seem a bit elusive. It is a non-governmental agency of sorts, yet it is tightly linked with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It is a non-profit group that prizes its autonomy, yet it is a regulatory entity spawned by Congress.

The bottom line for a licensed financial professional in California or elsewhere who is formally summoned by FINRA in a probe centered on allegations of negligence or bad faith in client representation is this: FINRA commands the power to discipline brokers/advisers in broad-based and even severe ways, including a clear mandate to suspend or revoke professional licenses and credentials in select cases.

An in-depth online overview of FINRA arbitration processes and potential outcomes notes the agency’s prerogatives and stark formalism. It stresses that agency arbitration hearings are akin to “regular trials,” with start-to-finish proceedings often lasting a year or longer. The potential impact of such an event on a respondent in terms of time expended, costs incurred, career dislocation and a negative outcome can be flatly dire.

The above article stresses that legal acumen and the learning of skills to effectively promote clients’ best interests in securities law matters like FINRA arbitrations “takes years of practice.”

Attorneys at the Century Law Group (with multiple offices spanning California) collectively command many decades of on-point FINRA-linked representation on behalf of diverse industry clients. We welcome contacts to the firm and the opportunity to discuss our demonstrated advocacy in this specialized legal sphere.

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