On May 2, 2018, FINRA announced that it is revising parts of its Sanction Guidelines. FINRA's Sanction Guidelines provide general principles and sanction recommendations to assist FINRA's adjudicators in determining the appropriate sanctions in disciplinary actions, ensuring consistency among all cases when imposing sanctions.
Instead of only evaluating a respondent's "disciplinary history", the latest revision to the Sanction Guidelines instructs FINRA adjudicators to consider "disciplinary and arbitration history", which includes customer-initiated arbitrations that result in adverse arbitration awards or settlements (excluding customer-initiated claims that have been filed but not resolved, or cases where a settlement has been reached in the absence of customer complaint or arbitration claim). This amendment to the Sanction Guidelines allows adjudicators to determine whether the respondent exhibited a pattern of harm to investors or market integrity in the past. If the adjudicator is able to establish such pattern, he or she can consider imposing more severe sanctions against the respondent than what would have been imposed if no pattern existed. The latest revisions to the Sanction Guidelines will take effect on June 1, 2018.
For more information, see here.