FINRA Publishes 2015 Priorities Letter

January 28th, 2015

Earlier this month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published its 2015 Regulatory and Exam Priorities Letter.  The document serves as a blueprint for the agency’s oversight, investigation and enforcement actions for the next 12 months. FINRA also outlined key areas of risk in the financial markets.

FINRA said that new regulation this year would focus on abusive trading algorithms, high-frequency trading, cross-product manipulation, order routing practices and market access controls. In its supervision efforts, FINRA will concentrate on its “putting costumers first” initiative, including firm culture. In the letter, the agency states “many of the problems we have observed in the financial services industry have their roots in firm culture.”

FINRA is also likely to focus on “shortcomings” specifically in broker-dealer activities as identified in the letter.  Theses shortcomings include aligning firm and customer interests, ethical behavior, development of supervisory and risk management systems, development of novel products and services, and conflicts of interest.

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