Fines are an important sanction in FINRA's arsenal of tools to deter misconduct. Fines are sought in formal disciplinary actions brought by the enforcement staff of FINRA.
FINRA has a process in place regarding the use of fines, which is designed to guard against potential conflicts in the organization's collection and use of fine monies. The FINRA fine guidelines provide that:
- All fine monies will be accounted for separately. Furthermore, fine monies not fully used in a given year will be tracked separately for use in future years.
- Fine monies collected or anticipated are not included in FINRA operating revenues and play no role in developing the operating budget.
- Fine monies are not considered in determining employee compensation and benefits.
- The use of fine monies is limited to capital expenditures and specified regulatory projects that promote compliance and improve markets. Any use of fine monies, regardless of amount, must be separately approved by the Board or its Finance, Operations and Technology Committee.
- Each year, FINRA makes public a description of the Board or Finance Committee-approved uses of fine monies during the prior year.
How to Pay Fines
FINRA provides several options for firms to pay fines: check, ACH payment, credit card (up to $50,000) or wire transfer. To ensure your firm's payment is applied to the correct fine in a timely manner, firms must include the complaint number on all check remittances, and include it as the reference number on ACH and wire payments.
See the Fees and Payment Options page for additional details on the payment methods.