FINRA recently issued its Annual Regulatory and Examination Prioritites Letter, highlighting areas of regulatory focus and concern this year. This is a must read for all compliance and legal folks, and it is a good read for any registered person as well. It is always good to know what has the attention of the regulators. Forewarned is forearmed.
Obviously, regulators will investigate, and take action on, items not on this list. They are still interested in the standard, basic sales practice, market regulation or membership violations, but the letter highlights some issues for which, in light of recent exam findings and the market environment and business climate, the regulators have concerns. In the sales practice area, some highlighted areas include: suitability of complex products, data integrity and cyber-security, microcap fraud, private placements, anti-money laundering, automated investment advice, and branch office supervision. Several other areas are mentioned, so go ahead and click on the link and read the letter for yourself.