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What Are the Five Top Fines Brokers Face?

1. Misleading Advertising

Advertising made its debut on Sutherland’s list of top enforcement issues in 2009. Although the value of the total fines was lower in 2010 than the previous year, penalties involved in making false claims still generated the highest value among total fines overall in 2010. “FINRA will continue to place greater emphasis on regulating advertising materials distributed to investors as well as materials distributed to and used by internal sales forces,” says Rubin. The reason for the large number of advertising cases: FINRA only has to prove the information was misleading; unlike cases involving fraud, the agency doesn’t have to show the firm acted with bad intent.