FINRA recently announced another settled disciplinary proceeding alleging unsuitable sales of levered and inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs). This second such announcement in recent months involving non-traditional ETFs sends the clear message that FINRA continues to be intensely focused on the retail sale of complex structured products.

In the recent consent order, two brokerage firms agreed

In its recently issued 2014 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, FINRA stated that cybersecurity remains a priority given the ongoing cybersecurity issues reported across the financial services industry, including the increasing frequency and sophistication of attacks targeting the nation’s largest financial institutions. The securities industry watchdog continues to be concerned with the integrity of firms’

FINRA did not wait for any dust (or snow) to settle on the New Year before alerting the brokerage industry and the public about its regulatory and examination priorities for 2014. This year’s letter, issued earlier than ever before, mixes many time-honored themes, such as conflicts of interest, complex products, suitability, AML, private placements, and

It is the end of the year, and many people are thinking about the status of their retirement accounts and planning any changes to their investments. FINRA also has retirement accounts on the brain. It is thinking about the ways member firms recommend investments in retirement accounts, and planning what to do about that.

FINRA

The SEC is crunching a lot of data these days, and it apparently intends to use some of that data to identify “reverse churning.” Reverse churning is the practice of placing a client who trades infrequently in a fee-based, rather than a commission-based, account; Chair Mary Jo White recently identified this as a problem that

FINRA continues to discipline broker-dealers that fail to detect and investigate so-called “red flags” of suspicious account activity. Yesterday, FINRA announced a $1 million fine against COR Clearing LLC (the “Firm”) – formerly Legent Clearing LLC – citing its failure to implement procedures designed to detect suspicious account activity and to report that activity once

FINRA recently announced a disciplinary proceeding that underscores its continuing concerns about unsuitable retail sales of structured products. In a recently settled formal disciplinary proceeding, FINRA censured a registered broker-dealer and ordered it to pay restitution to customers and others who lost money trading in, among other things, non-traditional exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

FINRA’s action