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FINRA Reports Increased Arbitration Awards Ordering Restitution In 2012

At the end of each year, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) conducts an assessment of its enforcement achievements in order to evaluate how to better allocate its time and resources during the following fiscal year. FINRA determined that in 2012, it ordered registered member firms and associated persons to return $34 million to harmed investors. This constitutes a 75% increase from the $19.4 million in restitution that FINRA ordered in 2011. Interestingly, however, FINRA increased the number of disciplinary proceedings in 2012, however, only ordered firms to pay $68 million in penalties, which was a $4 million decrease from 2011. Additionally, FINRA referred 692 potential matters to the Securities and Exchange Commission, and other federal and state law enforcement regulators, which was a 6% increase from 2011. These results can be attributed to FINRA implementing a more risk-based examination and application of a cross-market surveillance detection program. Richard Ketchum, FINRA’s chairman and chief executive stated, “[p]rotecting investors and helping to ensure the integrity of the nation’s financial markets is at the heart of what we do every day.”

Lax & Neville LLP can effectively assist investors, on both a regional and national level, that may have suffered losses as a result of their broker dealer’s sales practice abuses by filing arbitration claims with FINRA. Our firm also routinely represents small brokerage firms and individuals at larger brokerage firms in FINRA investigation and enforcement matters. Please contact our team of securities fraud attorneys for a consultation at (212) 696-1999.

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