News Release

NASD Revises Sanctions Guidelines to Clarify That Firm Size, Resources May Be Considered When Imposing Sanctions for Misconduct

Washington, D.C. — NASD today issued modifications to its Sanctions Guidelines to clarify that adjudicators should consider a registered firm's size and available resources when imposing monetary sanctions for misconduct - and may, when appropriate, impose a fine that is below the minimum levels recommended in the guidelines.

As outlined in Notice to Members 06-55, adjudicators - NASD Hearing Panels and its appellate body, the National Adjudicatory Council, as well NASD's Departments of Enforcement and Market Regulation when settling a case or deciding what sanctions to seek - should consider a firm's size and available resources for rule violations that are not egregious and do not involve fraud.

"NASD sanctions are intended to be remedial, not punitive," said NASD Chairman and CEO Mary L. Schapiro. "In the absence of fraud or egregious conduct, their purpose is to correct violative conduct, not to damage a firm's ability to conduct business and to serve the investing public. NASD is committed to being a vigorous regulator, but it is equally committed to fairness in the way sanctions are levied."

The Sanctions Guidelines revisions outlined in Notice to Members 06-55 are effective immediately.

NASD is the leading private-sector provider of financial regulatory services, dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. NASD touches virtually every aspect of the securities business - from registering and educating all industry participants, to examining securities firms, enforcing both NASD rules and the federal securities laws, and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. For more information, please visit our Web Site at