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April 28, 2015 6:53 AM ET

Diversified Financial Services

Company Overview of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.

Company Overview

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) is a trade association that provides regulatory, consulting, and advisory services focusing on financial services and securities brokerage companies. The organization offers registration, dispute resolution, federal securities law enforcement, market surveillance and analysis, and regulatory policy formulation and implementation services. FINRA, formerly known as National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc., was founded in 1938 and is headquartered in Washington, District of Columbia.

1735 K Street

Washington, DC 20006

United States

Founded in 1938

Phone:

202-728-8000

Fax:

202-293-6260

Key Executives for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.

Executive Chairman of Board of Governors and Chief Executive Officer
Age: 63
Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Senior Vice President and Regional Director of New York Region
President of Dispute Resolution, Executive Vice President, and Chief Hearing Officer
Executive Vice President and Director of Dispute Resolution
Compensation as of Fiscal Year 2014.

Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. Key Developments

RBC Wealth Management to Pay $1 Million Fine to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

RBC Wealth Management will pay a $1 million fine to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, settling charges that the firm didn't properly supervise the sales of complex securities to customers unprepared to understand them.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Orders RBC Capital Markets to Pay Fine and Restitution Totaling More than $1.4 Million for Unsuitable Sales of Reverse Convertibles

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced that it has ordered RBC Capital Markets to pay a $1 million fine and approximately $434,000 in restitution to customers for supervisory failures resulting in sales of unsuitable reverse convertibles. FINRA found that RBC failed to have supervisory systems reasonably designed to identify transactions for supervisory review when reverse convertibles were sold to customers, in violation of FINRA’s rules as well as the firm’s own suitability guidelines. RBC established suitability guidelines for the sale of reverse convertibles setting specific criteria for customer investment objectives, annual income, net worth, liquid net worth and investment experience. Consequently, the firm failed to detect the sale by 99 of its registered representatives of 364 reverse convertible transactions in 218 accounts that were unsuitable for those customers. The customers incurred losses totaling at least $1.1 million. RBC made payments to numerous customers pursuant to the settlement of a class action lawsuit; FINRA ordered restitution to the remainder of affected customers. In settling this matter, RBC neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.

FINRA Fines Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. for Supervisory Failures

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced that it has fined Oppenheimer & Co. Inc. $2.5 million and ordered the firm to pay restitution of $1.25 million for failing to supervise Mark Hotton, a former Oppenheimer broker who stole money from his customers and excessively traded their brokerage accounts. FINRA permanently barred Mark Hotton from the securities industry in August 2013. FINRA found that Oppenheimer failed to supervise Hotton in multiple respects. First, Oppenheimer failed to adequately investigate Hotton prior to hiring him, even though FINRA records showed that he was subject to 12 reportable events, including criminal charges and seven customer complaints. The firm also failed to place Hotton under heightened supervision despite learning, shortly after Hotton joined the firm, that his business partners had sued him for defrauding them out of several million dollars. Additionally, Oppenheimer failed to respond to red flags in correspondence and wire transfer requests demonstrating that Hotton was wiring funds from Oppenheimer customer accounts to entities that he owned or controlled. This allowed Hotton to transfer more than $2.9 million from those customers’ accounts. Finally, Oppenheimer failed to adequately supervise Hotton’s trading of his customers’ accounts despite the fact Oppenheimer’s surveillance analysts detected Hotton was trading the accounts at presumptively excessive levels. In addition, FINRA found that Oppenheimer failed to make more than 300 required filings to FINRA about some of its brokers in a timely manner. On average, these filings were 238 days late; and thus, the investing public and other broker-dealers were not timely made aware of serious allegations made against Oppenheimer’s registered representatives, including Hotton. Also, during the course of FINRA’s investigation, Oppenheimer repeatedly failed to provide timely responses to FINRA requests for information and documents.

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