Crowdfunding Enforcement Lessons Learned

Crowdfunding Enforcement Lessons Learned

FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) announced on May 4, 2022, that it fined two FINRA registered funding portals, a combined $1.75 million for failing to comply with securities laws and rules designed to protect investors in the crowdfunding space. These news releases are useful tools to look for trends in enforcement, violations, and other sanctions. These trends can assist you in identifying weak areas in your Firm’s compliance programs or surveillance. Below is a summary of the Wefunder and StartEngine matters, as well as key takeaways. Click here for the corresponding news release. Summary of Findings from Wefunder Enforcement: From Read more about Crowdfunding Enforcement Lessons Learned[…]

Customer Complaints (FINRA Rule 4513)

Customer Complaints (FINRA Rule 4513)

FINRA Rule 4513 defines a “customer complaint” as any grievance by a customer or any person authorized to act on behalf of the customer involving the activities of the member or a person associated with the member in connection with the solicitation or execution of any transaction or the disposition of securities or funds of that customer. Customer complaints that are made in person or over the phone are not within the scope of this rule, however, it is still prudent for members to address these complaints so that they do not escalate further. If a complaint is resolved to Read more about Customer Complaints (FINRA Rule 4513)[…]

Outside Business Activity Disclosure Form Best Practices

Outside Business Activity Disclosure Form Best Practices

When creating an outside business activity (“OBA”) disclosure form, it’s important to understand how FINRA defines an outside business activity and what information must be disclosed. Firms can request additional information however it is recommended that Firm’s ensure the required information is collected, reviewed and approved by the Firm’s designated principal. What is an Outside Business Activity? An outside business activity (“OBA”) is defined as a registered person acting as an “employee, independent contractor, sole proprietor, officer, director or partner of another person, or be compensated, or have the reasonable expectation of compensation, from any other person as a result Read more about Outside Business Activity Disclosure Form Best Practices[…]

NASAA Reveals Top Investor Threats for 2022

NASAA Reveals Top Investor Threats for 2022

On January 10, 2022 the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) released its annual list of top investor threats for 2022 and urged caution before purchasing popular and volatile unregulated investments – especially those involving cryptocurrency and digital assets. NASAA also announced guidance for investors, including steps to take to protect from fraud in the new year. “The most common telltale sign of an investment scam is an offer of guaranteed high returns with no risk. It is important for investors to understand what they are investing in and with whom they are investing,” said Melanie Senter Lubin, NASAA President Read more about NASAA Reveals Top Investor Threats for 2022[…]

FINRA Announces Rule 4111 (Restricted Firm Obligations) Evaluation Date

FINRA Announces Rule 4111 (Restricted Firm Obligations) Evaluation Date

In an Information Notice released February 1, 2022, FINRA announced the first “Evaluation Date” for the new Rule 4111 (Restricted Firm Obligations) on June 1, 2022. Rule 4111 went into effect on January 1, 2022, and addresses firms with a significant history of misconduct. More specifically, it requires member firms that are identified as Restricted Firms to deposit cash or qualified securities in a segregated, restricted account; adhere to specified conditions or restrictions; or comply with a combination of such obligations. Rule 4111 Rule 4111 establishes a multi-step, annual process through which FINRA will determine whether a member firm raises Read more about FINRA Announces Rule 4111 (Restricted Firm Obligations) Evaluation Date[…]