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FINRA Publishes 2012 Year in Review highlighting enforcement actions, including non-traded REITS, Reverse and Leveraged ETF Funds, and Structured Products.

FINRA claims that it initiated 1,846 routine examinations, more than 800 branch office examinations, and 5,100 cause examinations in response to events such as customer complaints, terminations for cause and regulatory tips. How many of these examinations led to actual enforcement actions one will never know but also claims to have imposed $68 million in fines and ordering a record $34 million in restitution to harmed customers. How much of these $102 million in fines and restitution FINRA actually collected, is also a mystery.

In the Release, FINRA claims that it has fulfilled its role as the first line of defense for investors through a comprehensive and aggressive enforcement program, supported by a realigned and more risk-based examination program. The same “risk based analysis,” sometimes used a a code word for “deregulation” is also used by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to determine the tolerable amount of carcinogens that may be contained in drinking water.

A full copy of the press release can be found here.

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