FINRA has released its 10th Annual Regulatory and Examinations Priorities Letter, highlighting its 2015 regulatory focus. FINRA announced they will highly scrutinize certain product offerings including interest rate sensitive fixed income securities (long duration bonds, MBS, interest-only bond funds), variable annuities, liquid alts, and non-traded REITS. The FINRA examiners will focus on the implementation of the revised supervision rules including reviews of branch offices and OSJs and compliance testing. FINRA will analyze IRA rollovers, sales of private placements suitability, failure to offer required fund breakpoint discounts, and anti-money laundering procedures. Firms should also review their valuation procedures to ensure adequate net capital, their cybersecurity programs, and their order routing and best execution practices. Please click here to read the full release.
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