Sutherland Issues Annual Review of FINRA Sanctions: Finds FINRA slowdown began to reverse in 2009

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Sutherland Asbill & Brennan LLP has completed its annual review of disciplinary actions brought by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in 2009. On June 22, 2010, FINRA issued its "2009 Year in Review." By reviewing FINRA's notices and releases, Sutherland Partners Deborah G. Heilizer and Brian L. Rubin and Associate Shanyn L. Gillespie found that FINRA reported modest increases in fines and disciplinary actions in 2009, as compared to 2008, but was less active than in 2005, 2006 and 2007. Sutherland also identified the top enforcement issues for FINRA in 2009, as well as disciplinary trends.

The Results

Fines and Disciplinary Actions

FINRA fined firms and individuals approximately $50 million in 2009, almost twice as much as in 2008 (approximately $28 million). While that increase is noteworthy, FINRA’s fines in 2009 were still significantly smaller than the fines obtained by FINRA and its predecessors (NASD and the New York Stock Exchange) in 2005, 2006, and 2007 ($184 million, $111 million, and $77 million, respectively). In addition, FINRA resolved more disciplinary actions in 2009 (1,090) than in 2008 (1,007), but fewer than were resolved in prior years (1,344 in 2005; 1,147 in 2006; and 1,107 in 2007).

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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