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Targeted Exam Letters

FINRA and other regulators conduct targeted exams, known as sweeps, to gather information and carry out investigations. Sweep information is used to focus examinations and pinpoint regulatory response to emerging issues.

The number of firms included in targeted exams varies and the firms that are included are carefully chosen-in some cases only a few firms are included and in others, dozens. Firms are selected based on a variety of factors, including level and nature of business activity in a particular area, customer complaints and regulatory history, and prior examination findings. By limiting our inquiry to a small number of firms, sweeps allow us to reduce the regulatory burden on the majority of firms.

To help firms inform their compliance programs, FINRA publishes a summary of the information requested in certain sweep letters.

Title Date
Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (“SPACs”)
Social Media Influencers, Customer Acquisition, and Related Information Protection
Option Account Opening, Supervision and Related Areas
Rights of Reinstatement (RoR)
Zero Commissions
VIX-Linked Product Review
Order Routing Conflicts
Review of Cross-Selling Programs
Unit Investment Trust Rollover Review
Non-Traded Business Development Companies
Mutual Fund Waiver
Establishing, Communicating and Implementing Cultural Values
Conflicts of Interest Review - Compensation and Oversight
Order Routing and Execution Quality of Customer Orders
Cybersecurity
High Frequency Trading
Alternative Trading Systems
Business Continuity Plans
Order Protection Disclosure Practices
Alternative Trading Systems (September 2012)
Conflicts of Interest (July 2012)
Targeted Examination Letters - Placement Agents
Targeted Examination Letters - Direct Market Access, Naked Access, Electronic Access or Sponsored Access ("DMA")
Targeted Examination Letter - Retail Forex Trading
Targeted Examination Request - Retail Municipal Securities Transactions
Targeted Examination Request - Retail Sale of “Gas Bonds”
Targeted Examination Letter - Structured Products Review
Targeted Examination Letters - False or Misleading Rumors
Targeted Examination Letters - Information Barriers