The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is on its way to posting a record year in terms of the amount of fines that it has assessed to member firms. FINRA’s total fines for 2016 will exceed the 2015 total by 70%, and will also exceed the previous record that was set in 2014, according to Sutherland Asbill & Brennan.
FINRA assessed nearly $80 million in fines during the first half of this year, compared with a total of only $37.5 million for the first half of 2015. Much of this is due to a small number of very large penalties that the regulatory agency has assessed to members as a result of infractions with the use of variable annuities.
If FINRA continues at this rate for the rest of 2016, then its total fines would come to nearly $160 million. The Sutherland report states that this would represent almost a 20% increase over the record amount of fines that were levied in 2014.
Interestingly, these fines are part of a slightly smaller number of disciplinary actions that has been taken against regulatory offenders. But there have been a total of 11 fines levied so far in 2016 that have exceeded $1 million, which is nearly twice the number as last year.
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