On January 2, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) published its annual letter (the “Letter”) outlining FINRA’s 2014 regulatory and examination priorities. The Letter is intended to provide information to industry participants about FINRA’s current areas of focus in order to allow broker-dealer firms to review and enhance, if necessary, their supervisory, compliance and risk management efforts in these areas.
The regulatory and examination priorities discussed in the Letter can be classified into four broad categories: business conduct, fraud, financial and operational, and market regulation. New priorities listed for 2014 include, among others, a focus on recidivist brokers, conflicts of interest, qualified plan rollovers, the initial public offering market, crowdfunding portals, and risk control documentation and assessment. The Letter also covers many of the same topics addressed in prior years, including suitability, cybersecurity, private placements, anti-money laundering, microcap fraud, insider trading, and high frequency and algorithmic trading. A copy of the Letter is available here.