If you are a financial advisor and have received a FINRA Rule 8210 request for information from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the White Law Group may be able to help you.
Under Rule 8210, FINRA may demand documents, information or testimony from broker-dealers or employees. Rule 8210 enables FINRA staff to inspect and copy virtually all of the books and records of member firms, associated persons and any other person over whom FINRA has jurisdiction.
This includes all electronically stored data including email, text messages, IMs, etc. FINRA is then permitted to share your documents with domestic federal agencies or foreign securities regulators.
Why did you receive a FINRA Rule 8210 Information Request?
Typically, the request is sent after FINRA gets a tip, referral, complaint, examination or termination of registration (Form U-5).
Similar to a subpoena, the information request may require the production of documents or require written responses to requests for information. Individuals may be required to appear for testimony in an “on the record interview” (OTR) at a date and location set by FINRA’s staff. FINRA may also request a written statement.
What are your next steps after receiving a FINRA Rule 8210 Information Request?
- The first step would be to discuss the request with your member firm. It’s important to continue to follow procedures within your organization, although they most likely will have also received the request, and you may need their help providing documents and records.
- The second step is often to contact FINRA and establish a chain of communication and ask for an extension of time if needed, since the time for responding is often short.
- The third step is hiring an experienced attorney who is familiar with FINRA disciplinary matters. An 8210 Request is a serious matter, and you should not be using a general litigator or other attorney who does not focus their practice on FINRA work. It will be important for you to have an attorney who understands the securities industry and deals with FINRA staff on a regular basis. Choose the wrong attorney and you may end up answering FINRA’s questions in a way that may inadvertently cause you harm.
What should you send to FINRA?
Theoretically, FINRA’s requests must be in connection with an investigation, complaint, examination or proceeding. However, FINRA’s staff has great latitude to decide what does or does not involve an investigation, complaint, examination or proceeding.
FINRA is supposed to limit the information request to information relating to the operation of the broker-dealer or the person’s association with the member. However, it may decide that documents concerning outside business activities or private securities transactions are relevant to its investigation.
Since FINRA now requires that you provide any documents that you have in “possession, custody or control,” that means that if you can possibly acquire it, you must share it with FINRA. Don’t forget that FINRA may obtain some documents from third parties, so it wouldn’t be a good idea to try to hide something that you think may not put you in the best light.
Make you sure you make copies of everything that you plan to send to FINRA. You may need to provide financial records, trading records, opening account documents, emails, and other documentation and your firm can help you access any documents you may not have.
Your written response may be the most important part of the process, and that is where an experienced FINRA lawyer can come into play. This is an opportunity for you and your attorney to put yourself in the best light and present your side of the story – hopefully persuading FINRA that their investigation is unnecessary by explaining away the allegations.
Once you have submitted the information to FINRA, don’t be surprised if you don’t hear anything back for while — it may take months to receive a response. FINRA may come back asking for more information or request an on- the- record interview.
Free Consultation with a Securities Attorney
If you are concerned about a FINRA 8210 Request for information, the securities attorneys at The White Law Group may be able to help you. Please call the offices at 888-637-5510 for a free consultation with one of our experienced securities attorney.
The White Law Group is a national securities arbitration, securities employment and securities regulatory law firm with offices in Chicago, Illinois and Franklin, Tennessee.
For more information on the firm, please visit https://www.whitesecuritieslaw.com.