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.
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Founded in 1938
Goldman Sachs to Repay USD 80 Million to National Australia Bank
May 13 15
Goldman Sachs has been asked by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (Finra) to pay a sum of USD 80 million with interest to the National Australia Bank. According to the report NAB filed a USD 230 million arbitration claim in 2012, alleging that Goldman Sachs had violated the mortgage-linked security practices. In its claim, NAB had claimed for USD 230 million in total damages including USD 80 million as compensatory damages with interest of USD 60 million and punitive damages.
FINRA Fines Morgan Stanley $2 Million for Short Interest Reporting and Short Sale Rule Violations
May 13 15
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced that it has fined Morgan Stanley & Co. LLC $2 million for short interest reporting and short sale rule violations that spanned a period of more than six years, and for failing to implement a supervisory system reasonably designed to detect and prevent such violations. In concluding this settlement, Morgan Stanley neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA's findings.
LPL to Pay Approximately $1.7 Million in Restitution to Customers
May 6 15
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced that it has censured LPL Financial LLC and fined it $10 million for broad supervisory failures in a number of key areas, including the sales of non-traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs), certain variable annuity contracts, non-traded real estate investment trusts (REITs) and other complex products, as well as its failure to monitor and report trades and deliver to customers more than 14 million trade confirmations. In addition to the fine, FINRA ordered LPL to pay approximately $1.7 million in restitution to certain customers who purchased non-traditional ETFs. The firm may pay additional compensation to ETF purchasers pending a review of its ETF systems and procedures. FINRA found that, at various times spanning multiple years, LPL failed to supervise sales of certain complex structured products, including ETFs, variable annuities and non-traded REITs. With regard to non-traditional ETFs, the firm did not have a system to monitor the length of time that customers held these securities in their accounts, did not enforce its limits on the concentration of those products in customer accounts, and failed to ensure that all of its registered representatives were adequately trained on the risks of the products. Also, LPL failed to supervise its sales of variable annuities, in some instances permitting sales without disclosing surrender fees, and in connection with certain mutual fund “switch” transactions, it used an automated surveillance system that excluded these trades from supervisory review. Additionally, LPL failed to supervise non-traded REITs by, among other things, failing to identify accounts eligible for volume sales charge discounts. FINRA also found that LPL’s systems to review trading activity in customer accounts were plagued by multiple deficiencies. For example, LPL used a surveillance system that failed to generate alerts for certain high-risk activity, including low-priced equity transactions, actively traded securities and potential employee front-running. The firm used a separate, but flawed, automated system to review its trade blotter that failed to provide trading activity past due for supervisory review. LPL failed to deliver over 14 million confirmations for trades in 67,000 customer accounts. In addition, due to coding defects that remained undetected for nearly six weeks, LPL’s anti-money laundering surveillance system failed to generate alerts for excessive ATM withdrawals and ATM withdrawals in foreign jurisdictions. FINRA also found that LPL failed to report certain trades to FINRA and the MSRB, and failed to ensure it provided complete and accurate information to FINRA and to federal and state regulators concerning certain variable annuity transactions. FINRA further found that LPL failed to reasonably supervise its advertising and other communications, including its registered representatives’ use of consolidated reports. LPL did not monitor the creation or use of consolidated reports, and failed to ensure that these reports reflected complete and accurate information. In settling this matter, LPL neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings.