As a professional in the financial industry, reputation matters. If the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) notifies you that it is opening an investigation into a customer complaint against you, it’s natural to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Unfortunately, FINRA will use various tactics to intimidate you into confessing, even if the claims are baseless or patently false. Let’s take a look at some of these intimidation strategies so that you can prepare to defend yourself should the need arise.
Beware Settlement Offers
One way that FINRA pushes financial advisors to cooperate by presenting them with an Acceptance Waiver and Consent (AWC) early on in the investigation process. While these settlement offers may seem like a good option as they allow you to avoid costly enforcement proceedings, the catch is that they compel you to consent to a sanction and a public display of this action on BrokerCheck and CRD reports. Signing an AWC may conclude this matter quickly, but you essentially forfeit your right to dispute these allegations.
Timing is Everything
FINRA also uses timing to its advantage. In most cases, FINRA has two years during which it can launch an investigation. However, determining the exact date for the statute of limitations clock to start running can be hazy. As a result, FINRA may wait until the end of this two-year period before initiating the investigation process, catching financial advisors by surprise and interfering with their ability to have a successful career in the field. As soon as you suspect that FINRA may have its eye on you, reach out to a trusted securities law attorney to discuss your next steps.
Preparing a Solid Defensive Strategy
There’s no doubt that facing a FINRA investigation is stressful. That’s why enlisting the guidance of an experienced securities law defense attorney is your best bet to navigating this process successfully. The sooner you reach out to discuss your situation, the more time you’ll have to mount a strategic defense against these claims. Don’t let your professional reputation suffer—get in touch with a skilled attorney right away.
Call Judex Law LLC today at (303) 523-4022 to discuss your situation with an experienced and dedicated securities law attorney.