Merrill Mutual Fund Enforcement Lessons Learned

Merrill Mutual Fund Enforcement Lessons Learned

FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) announced on June 2, 2022 that it ordered Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., to pay 15.2 million in restitution and interest to thousands of customers who purchased Class C mutual fund shares when Class A shares were available at a substantially lower cost. FINRA news releases are useful tools to look for trends in 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 Merrill order, as well as key takeaways. Click here for the corresponding news Read more about Merrill Mutual Fund Enforcement Lessons Learned[…]

Customer Complaint Report

Customer Complaint Report

The Customer Complaint Report is a quarterly report that displays trends in complaints reported to FINRA’s Rule 4530 Application each quarter, pursuant to FINRA Rule 4530. When a customer complaint is submitted to FINRA, the submitter must identify the product and problem classification detailed in the complaint. The report allows a firm to see their complaints in two views, by problem identified in the complaint and by product for which the complaint was submitted. Navigating the Customer Complaint Report The complaints by problem view is displayed by default. To see complaints submitted by product, choose Product from the Views drop-down Read more about Customer Complaint Report[…]

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[…]