In a recent FINRA AWC settlement, the self-regulatory-organization alleges that for nearly six years some 31 public customers were subjected to cumulative losses of $4.6 million. During those six years, however, apparently, no FINRA examiner noticed the problems or was aware of the red flags of failing supervision. FINRA criticizes its member firm for years of failed supervision when the regulator itself was oblivious to the same set of facts. In the end, there's nothing here to gloat about. Putting a price-tag on violations of FINRA rules is not regulating. It's retail. It's a thrift shop. It sure as hell isn't Wall Street regulation.
In 1966, the Buffalo Springfield sang that there's something happening here but what it is ain't exactly clear. Much could be said of a recent intra-industry FINRA arbitration, which seems to have had something to do with the termination of the associated person Claimant's employment. After some six years of litigation, however, Claimant walked away with only about 3% of the damages that he had sought. As to what exactly was in dispute, oddly, that remains a mystery despite a somewhat detailed FINRA Arbitration Award. All of which reminds us that there's battle lines being drawn, nobody's right if everybody's wrong.