The federal Financial Industry Regulatory Authority looms large when it comes to commanding oversight levied in investigative and disciplinary actions against financial professionals.
In fact, the authority wielded by FINRA officials in such matters is vast and often marked by strongly adverse results for licensed employees in the financial industry.
Those regulated individuals comprise a vast pool of professionals. An authoritative California license-defense legal source points to a realm that collectively encompasses “financial advisers, certified public accountants, stockbrokers, brokerage firms and other financial professionals.”
A recent National Law Review article shines a prominent spotlight on one of those enumerated entities, namely, brokerage firms.
Actually, the article’s specific focus is on stockbrokers it identifies as having “a significant history of misconduct.” Those individuals are currently under an exacting FINRA microscope, along with broker-dealers that employ them.
FINRA’s adoption of new rules: What do they signify?
New rules announced by FINRA in early March come as amendments to existing dictates and centrally call for the following:
- Enhanced authority granted agency hearing officials enabling them to impose escalated conditions and restrictions on disciplined brokers and additionally mandate their heightened supervision by firms they are associated with
- Expanded officers’ authority to fast track disciplinary proceedings against disciplined brokers deemed to have fallen short in their compliance with existing mandates
- Onus placed on broker-dealers seeking to continue associating with a broker having a significant record of misconduct to submit for FINRA approval an “interim heightened supervision plan”
- Mandatory brokerage filing of a continuing membership application when any person seeking to become an owner or principal has a threshold criminal history or has “two or more ‘specified risk events’ in the prior five years”
Of course, and in addition to those sanctions, FINRA can commence an action aimed at the suspension or revocation of an individual’s or member firm’s professional license to practice.
Questions or concerns regarding any disciplinary matter involving a financial professional’s livelihood or licensing can be directed to an experienced license-defense legal team.