FINRA puts CARDS on hold. The prepared testimony which FINRA CEO Richard Ketchum gave before a House Financial Services subcommittee was summarized by Reuters. Ketchum told the subcommittee FINRA will not proceed with its Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System until industry concerns have been resolved. (4/30/2015) Ketchum Testimony.

FINRA takes action for fraud against the elderly. FINRA announced that Avenir Financial Group, its chief executive officer and a registered representative consented to an order halting further fraudulent sales of equity interests in the firm and promissory notes pending a hearing on fraud charges relating to the same offerings. The sales, which occurred from October 2013 to the present, were often to elderly customers. FINRA obtained the order based on its concern regarding ongoing customer harm and depletion of investor assets prior to the completion of a formal disciplinary proceeding against the firm and the individuals. FINRA also permanently barred another registered representative from the securities industry for fraud and for improperly using investor funds for personal expenses. The registered representative neither admitted nor denied the charges, but consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings. (4/27/2015) FINRA press release. 

Seniors helpline. FINRA has launched a toll-free securities helpline for seniors to provide assistance from knowledgeable FINRA staff. (4/20/2015) FINRA press release. 

Conduct rules for municipal advisors. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) announced that it has submitted for SEC approval proposed Rule G-41, which would establish core standards of conduct for municipal advisors, provide guidance on the obligations and prohibitions that accompany their fiduciary duties and clarify their duties of care and fair dealing to all clients. (4/15/2015) MSRB press release.