A recent article in the New York Law Journal delineated the distinctive challenges lawyers face when confronted with FINRA Enforcement proceedings. While on the surface, FINRA enforcement actions may seem familiar, there are elements of the process that are unique to the regulator and its proceedings — and that therefore bring unique challenges.
“FINRA Enforcement proceedings are designed to quickly punish or remove those who violate FINRA’s rules or the rules and regulations governing the securities industry. As such, they lack many of the procedural protections applicable in civil or criminal litigation and the rules themselves, particularly FINRA Rule 2010, make it easier for Enforcement to obtain an adverse finding. However, that makes the role of an informed advocate more, not less, important. Counsel should be prepared.”
Counsel should be prepared indeed, because the threat is very real. In the last two years alone, FINRA has doled out $100 million in fines. This is in line with a broader trend in the world of regulatory compliance, which has seen more frequent and more severe enforcement actions issued over the last decade.
Advocates, though, might struggle to feel prepared in an environment that’s as complex and fast moving as financial regulation. For law firms attempting to advise a litany of clients on their regulatory requirements or for a General Counsel trying to build and scale an effective compliance program, it can seem impossible to keep up with this frenzied regulatory pace.
Ascent helps financial firms identify their obligations, track regulatory updates, and reconcile changes. Our AI-powered platform automates the most tedious and error-prone aspects of regulatory change management and regulatory mapping, significantly reducing a company’s cost to comply and — by taking human error out of the equation — the risk of non-compliance.
Ascent empowers law firms to continually know all of the regulatory obligations for each client in their book in a few minutes time. Similarly, Ascent helps General Counsels gain a comprehensive view of their regulatory landscape, potentially at significant cost reduction (learn how Ascent helped a Global Top 50 Bank achieve 99% cost-savings in their GDPR compliance efforts).
Informed advocates play an essential role in helping businesses navigate complex enforcement proceedings like FINRA’s, and, even more importantly, in avoiding non-compliance and enforcement actions in the first place. Ascent helps provide them with the information their roles require at a scale, efficiency, and level of accuracy not previously possible.
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