As a financial advisor, receiving an ominous-looking notice from an investigator at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) can be disconcerting or outright intimidating. These letters, known as FINRA Rule 8210 Information Requests, inform the recipient that an investigation is underway and that they must cooperate in the process as needed. As soon as you receive this letter, you should consider contacting an experienced securities law attorney who can help you understand how to respond to this request and what you can expect during the investigation process.
Determining Why You Received a Rule 8210 Information Request
Sometimes, you may know why FINRA has sent you a Rule 8210 Information Request. For example, perhaps FINRA is investigating a customer complaint against you and they need access to the client’s account records. Other times, the reason for the notification is not as apparent. Unfortunately, these letters are often deliberately vague and demand a response within a very short timeframe. So before you panic, remember that enlisting the guidance of a knowledgeable securities law attorney is the best way to prepare and protect yourself for whatever lies ahead.
Responding to a FINRA 8210 Information Request
First, you should forward the Rule 8210 Information Request to your manager or Compliance Department. Even if these individuals have also received a copy of the request, it’s best to touch base with your firm to ensure you remain in compliance with your firm’s internal procedures. Next, enlist the assistance of a securities law attorney to determine how to respond to the request. Your attorney will assess the situation and advise you on how to proceed with FINRA’s information request. Typically, it’s in your best interest to respond concisely and succinctly—you don’t want to give out any more information than absolutely necessary. You usually only have two weeks in which to respond, but your attorney can decide whether the scope of the request is too broad or the volume of requested information warrants an extension. These matters can quickly escalate and become complicated, so contact your attorney right away to start developing a plan of action.
What to Expect After You Respond
After you and your attorney have submitted the requested documents, you may wonder about what happens next. From FINRA sending you another Rule 8210 Request asking for additional documentation to FINRA reaching out to request an on-the-record (OTR) examination, multiple scenarios may occur. Or, you may receive a formal letter from FINRA announcing that you are the subject of an upcoming investigation. On the other hand, FINRA may send you a letter several months later notifying you that they are closing the investigation and no further action is needed. As you can see, the series of events following a Rule 8210 Information Request can vary significantly, so it’s essential to work with an attorney who can advocate for your rights and support you through whatever lies ahead.
If you’ve received notification of an impending FINRA investigation, contact Juex Law LLC today at (303) 523-4022 to discuss your options with an experienced securities law attorney.