A crackdown on complex products and conflicts of interests led to greater scrutiny of large brokerages in 2012, the head of Wall Street's industry-funded watchdog said on Tuesday.
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority levied a total of $68 million in civil fines during 2012, according to statistics released by FINRA on Tuesday. The figure was slightly less than the $71.9 million imposed by FINRA in 2011, and included a string of high-profile enforcement cases against large brokerages. Those cases accounted for about one-third of total fines in 2012.
FINRA also ordered brokerages to repay harmed investors a record $34 million.
FINRA is working on compliance initiatives including implementing a consolidated audit trail to give regulators customer-level trading details, and developing rules for crowdfunding capital raising under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act Small brokerage owners often accuse FINRA for targeting them compared with large brokerages in
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