The Spodek Law group is a premier, and service driven, FINRA enforcement defense law firm. Our attorneys understand how difficult this process is, and that you need an experienced law firm to help you. We regularly advise individuals and companies regarding FINRA compliance. FINRA’s top priority is to make sure investors confidence in the securities market remains consistent. The enforcement department in FINRA is tasked with securities violations, and when necessary – bring disciplinary action against firms and associated staff. FINRA’s enforcement department has the authority to fine, suspend, or ban brokers and firms from the industry. The enforcement department is very effective, and handles a wide array of investigations and cases. The enforcement department works with the FINRA departments and offices, like Member Regulation and Market Regulation to conduct it’s job. For example, the FINRA enforcement department works with member regulation – when investigating suspected rule violations, in the course of examinations, and when reviewing customer complaints. If deemed necessary, the Enforcement department will take disciplinary action.
FINRA can also start investigations based on a wide array of sources like examination findings, FINRA findings, complaints, tips, surveillance reports, referrals from other agencies, or referrals from other departments. FINRA can take disciplinary action through two procedures: a settlement or formal complaint. In a settlement, the firm or broker can settle with FINRA through a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent. Formal complaints are filed and heard before FINRA’s office of hearing officers. The officer will assign the case to a professional officer who ensures the complaint is resolved fairly and quickly.
Regardless of which way you go, it’s advisable to speak to a FINRA enforcement defense lawyer.
Examples of Cases We Can Handle
What is FINRA?
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Agency) is an independent agency that ensures broker-dealers act in fair and compliant manners with regulations set forth by other regulatory agencies. Unlike the Securities and Exchange Commission that deals with upholding the integrity of financial markets as a whole, FINRA is responsible for monitoring the activities of the actors in the financial markets. They oversee approximately 3,900 brokerage firms and 630,000 individual brokers and process, on average, 50 billion transactions every day. FINRA is also not a government agency. They are commissioned by Congress, but operate as a not-for-profit on the behalf of investors and not supported by taxpayer dollars.
Duties of FINRA
FINRA is responsible for administering licenses to qualified investment professionals, checking that there is proper disclosure for any securities related advertising, write and enforce rules that govern the actions of broker-dealer firms and individual securities brokers, and educate investors about our financial markets.
How FINRA Achieves Its Goals
FINRA’s primary responsibility is protecting investors by ensuring that whenever an investor buys a product, that product comes from a reputable and ethical dealer. FINRA requires that any broker in the U.S. be licensed and registered with FINRA. Depending on what products a broker wants to sell, FINRA requires him/her to acquire the relevant license. For example, if an individual wants to sell stocks, he/she must pass the licensing exam for a Series 7. There are many more licenses that represent various products available for sale and FINRA checks that any dealer has the right licenses to sell those products.
Besides regulating who can sell what products, FINRA also creates rules that bind broker-dealers to act in ethical and fair manners. These regulations come from investors, the SEC, and sometimes the brokers it oversees. Members who act against the regulations set by FINRA can be subject to fines, suspensions, and possible expulsion from markets depending on the severity of the infraction. In 2016, FINRA expelled 31 firms, suspended 727, and barred another 517 from doing business. In 2017, FINRA ordered $133.6 million in restitution to investors and took 1,369 disciplinary cases against offenders.
Does FINRA Work?
Without FINRA, it would be much easier for broker-dealers to take advantage of regular investors who do not possess the sophisticated tools to fully understand financial markets. FINRA acts to hold those dealers to a high standard so that investors know their money is safe in the hands of someone else and so that investors can learn more about the markets through the free tools FINRA provides. As in any large, developed economy, FINRA has its work cut out for them and might not catch every infraction. However, without FINRA and other regulatory deterrents, offenses would occur more often and with more severity. Even with FINRA monitoring brokers, the numbers above suggest some are willing to take the risk of acting immorally. Even in those instances, FINRA strives to protect the integrity of the markets and repair damages brought against investors.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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