FINRA sees 43% increase in fines, yet disciplinary actions were only up 1% in 2020.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA) reportedly had a 43% increase in fines in 2020, according to an article in Investment News citing a study by Eversheds Sutherland (US) Law Firm.
FINRA fines in 2020 increased from $40 million in 2019, to $57 million in 2020, according to the article, closer to the numbers in 2017 and 2018, when the regulator reportedly ordered $65 million and $61 million in fines, respectively.
FINRA reportedly broke records with its fines in 2016 at $174 million in fines.
According to the law firm, FINRA appears to have focused its priorities on protecting retail investors and targeting anti-money laundering violations.
The regulator reportedly assessed ten fines of $1 million or more, totaling $38.6 million, compared with $28 million in similar fines in 2019.
FINRA Increases Restitution orders In 2020
FINRA also increased its orders of restitution 29% in 2020, to approximately $36 million, from $28 million in 2019 and $26 million in 2018.
Fines, restitution and disgorgement increased 34% to $94 million from $70 million in total sanctions in 2019. However, the total sanctions in previous years were significantly higher: $124 million in 2018; $150 million in 2017; and $207 million in 2016, according to the article.
FINRA’s disciplinary actions didn’t move much in 2020, according to the article. They were up just 1% in 2020 to 595 from 591 in 2019.
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