Customer complaints and regulatory audits can lead to FINRA inquiries/investigations. Inquiries can lead to formal action by FINRA which can result in career ending sanctions. I strongly recommend that registered representatives (RR) retain experienced counsel upon the receipt of a an inquiry letter and work with that attorney closely in responding to the inquiry, preparing to give testimony, if required, and attending the interview. FINRA has among its investigative tools the power (through Rule 8210) to compel broker dealers and [...]
Another reason to proceed with caution when dealing with senior citizens, clients with disabilities and any client who could be perceived as “vulnerable.” The point of this article is to highlight another procedural trap into which an unwitting adviser may step when dealing with seniors or others perceived to be “vulnerable.” In the context of the adviser - customer relationship, vulnerability can include “...advanced age, youth, lack of education, ill health and mental weakness.”1 Perceived vulnerability coupled with the fiduciary [...]
In my practice I have noticed a recent uptick in terminations for cause as well as (particularly in the case of a registered representative attempting to change firms) the necessity to provide an explanation for any CRD blemish to new broker dealers, clearing firms and insurance companies. Terminations for cause from a broker dealer automatically trigger an inquiry from FINRA and often one or more states. The RR’s response to this inquiry is very important in that the response has [...]
If Clients Are Vulnerable, Your Arbitration Clause May Be Too By Craig Zafis Financial professionals take heed of a procedural trap into which an unwitting adviser may step when dealing with seniors or others perceived to be “vulnerable.” In the context of the adviser/customer relationship, vulnerability can include “...advanced age, youth, lack of education, ill health and mental weakness.” Couple this real or perceived vulnerability with the fiduciary duty owed to customers by all investment advisers and by brokers in [...]
FINRA has just released their disciplinary actions for this past month and the have been busy again. Further analysis to come, if you are on the receiving end of any form of FINRA action, it is very important to contact a securities fraud defense attorney as soon as possible. Time is of the essence and you will need experienced representation through all stages of this process.