FINRA Announces New Webcast to Guide Brokers when Working with Senior Customers
Scottsdale, AZ — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that registered personnel and other frontline staff now can learn about their compliance obligations when working with senior customers through the latest in FINRA's series of free, instructional webcasts.
The interaction of securities industry professionals and the growing senior population raises important regulatory issues, including suitability and communications. Retirees, or those approaching retirement, frequently face crucial financial decisions with profound implications. These and other issues are addressed in the new webcast, Suitability Considerations for Work with Seniors, now available at the on-line learning section at FINRA.org.
"This new addition to FINRA's collection of on-line compliance tools is meant to make a difference in customer interaction, an aspect of firm operation where a lack of diligence can yield potentially disastrous consequences," said FINRA CEO Mary Schapiro. "As the senior population grows, so does regulators' responsibility to ensure that this important segment of the investing public is treated fairly and appropriately by the firms and brokers they do business with."
With the aging of the baby boomers, the country's 65-and-over population is forecast to double with 25 years - to more than 70 million. The webcast addresses not just to working with seniors, but the vast number of boomers who are at, or near, retirement. A similar webcast aimed at firms' supervisory personnel and a formal online e-learning course addressing senior issues will be posted to FINRA's web site in coming weeks.
The new webcast's launch comes just one month after FINRA announced two major regulatory sweeps intended to ensure that securities firms adhere to appropriate sales practices when dealing with seniors and individuals nearing retirement. The announcement was made at the Securities and Exchange Commission's second annual Seniors Summit.
The first sweep examines the use of so-called "professional" designations to possibly mislead or defraud investors. The second looks at early retirement seminars conducted by firms that are designed to entice older workers to liquidate retirement savings in employer-sponsored plans for investment with a specific firm or representative.
Since January 2005, FINRA has completed approximately 100 formal disciplinary actions involving or related to seniors. Currently, FINRA has about 70 open investigations that involve seniors or related issues.
FINRA webcasts are brief online tutorials available on-demand and take less than 10 minutes to view. Through FINRA's monthly report, training managers can view and download a list of employees at their firm who have registered for and viewed a FINRA webcast.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest non-governmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. Created in 2007 through the consolidation of NASD and NYSE Member Regulation, FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business - from registering and educating industry participants to examining securities firms; writing rules; enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws; informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. For more information, please visit our Web site at www.finra.org.