In assessing the range of a sanction that FINRA will impose on registered representatives and member firms in FINRA disciplinary actions, the key resource relied upon by enforcement attorneys and disciplinary hearing panelists is the Sanction Guidelines. Here litigators and adjudicators find the range of sanction for particular violations, and then consider aggravating and mitigating factors in order to arrive at an appropriate sanction in a specific case. In October 2020, FINRA amended the Principal Considerations of the Sanction Guidelines to better protect senior investors from financial exploitation, specifically requiring consideration of a customer’s age and any physical or mental impairment impacting a customer’s ability to protect themselves. This is a continuation of FINRA’s efforts to protect the investing public from elder abuse. (See, e.g., FINRA Rule 2165, Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults). In addition to mental or physical impairment, the amendment will impact cases where an injured customer is age 65 or older. Going forward, hearing panels and enforcement staff will consider, when assessing the facts and circumstance of a case, whether customer age or impairment should be considered an aggravating factor when assessing the disciplinary sanction to be imposed. If so, the sanction will be higher.
The information and materials in this blog posting are provided for general informational purposes only and are not intended to be legal advice. The issues discussed include complicated areas of law and legal advice should be obtained from a securities attorney about your specific circumstances.