FINRA Announces 2015 Regulatory and Examination Priorities FINRA Announces 2015 Regulatory and Examination Priorities

FINRA Announces 2015 Regulatory and Examination Priorities

On January 6, 2015, FINRA published its annual regulatory and examination priorities.  (See attached.)  Fundamentally, FINRA continues to emphasize firm culture and the requirement of putting client interests ahead of firm interests as recurring challenges impacting firm abilities to foster an environment of compliance.   
 
As detailed in FINRA’s announcement, among many other priorities, FINRA examinations will focus on the following areas of concern:
 
  • Sales practices, specifically issues relating to product features, distribution practices, due diligence, suitability, supervision and training.
  • Variable Annuity sales practices.
  • Sales of non-traded REITs.
  • Implementation of new FINRA supervisory rules that became effective on 12/1/14.
  • IRA Rollovers.
  • Sales of private placements.
  • Cybersecurity.
  • Conflicts of Interest.
  • Excessive Trading and Concentration Controls.
  • Sales of other “alternative investments”. 
Finally, FINRA’s announcement reminds members of their obligation to respond timely to FINRA requests for information during an examination.  Members should be aware that pursuant to FINRA Rule 8210 they have an obligation to provide timely responses and to cooperate with FINRA investigations.  Failure to do so could result in discipline by FINRA. 

This publication is intended for general information purposes only and does not and is not intended to constitute legal advice. The reader must consult with legal counsel to determine how laws or decisions discussed herein apply to the reader's specific circumstances.
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