In previous posts in this series, I've discussed the role of FINRA as a private, non-government self-regulatory organization, as well as the basic types of examinations that is conducts (routine and cause). Today, as promised, I'll address the consequences of not cooperating with a FINRA examination.
As mentioned earlier, FINRA is not a part of the government. That means that it cannot subpoena you or your records, it cannot criminally prosecute a broker or firm and cannot put you in jail or impose other criminal punishment. Nevertheless, it possess significant powers and can impose significant civil penalties against brokers and firms through its disciplinary process.