April 23, 2022
For Wall Street's overwhelmed compliance staff, you just wasted valuable time reading FINRA's April 14th Information Notice. No, it's not you -- there's is no substance at all to the Notice, which conveys nothing of importance and revels in informing you that FINRA has been "assessing opportunities" to enhance MAP operations and streamline processes. The FINRA Information Notice is supercilious bureaucratic doublespeak by which FINRA hopes to fool you into believing that there's something serious going on here in terms of regulation. And you were wondering just what FINRA was doing with some 3,000 employees and a multi-million dollar budget?
So, where are we? The small firm community is on its death bed. Regulators are engineering us out of existence through overblown rulebooks and biased regulation. Where is the voice of the FINRA Board of Governors? Sadly, it is a whisper, if anything at all. With few exceptions. no FINRA Governor has the guts to take a stand on behalf of the little guys -- and over the years, it has become infuriating when you recall how many of our elected Governors ran on a platform promising vigorous advocacy for small firms and the implementation of reasonable reforms. Once elected, we got silence from our purported advocates. They sit quietly. Collect their honorarium. Say nothing. Do nothing. All the while, the numbers of small firms dwindle.
In today's blog we are left wondering. FINRA makes an exceptionally strong regulatory case against a former Morgan Stanley registered representative, who is charged with multiple violations. All in all, it's not a pretty picture that FINRA paints. It's the strength of FINRA's case that may raise an eyebrow or two when you learn that the rep was not barred from the industry. Of course a three-month suspension isn't a light slap on the wrist. Still -- you read the allegations and see what you think.