The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) ensures that the broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly. This is done to protect investors against dishonest practices which may cause them to lose their hard-earned money. Therefore, if you receive a Rule 8210 letter from FINRA, it means that the regulatory body needs information from you pertaining to an investigation.
Such information may include documents, financial records, or testimony, among others. Usually, the subject of a FINRA investigation may be just about anything related to the relationship between a broker-dealer and its associated persons. For instance, if you were named in a customer complaint or an arbitration claim, FINRA may request that client’s customer records.
Responding to a Rule 8210 information request
If you receive a Rule 8210 information request, forwarding it to your compliance department or manager should be among the first things you ought to do. Most likely, FINRA sent a copy to your compliance director notifying them that the matter is under investigation. Notably, most brokerage firms have internal procedures requiring you to notify them if you receive any information request from a regulator.
In addition, it is necessary to be well prepared for any eventualities. You may or may not know whether you are the target of the FINRA inquiry or a potential witness. Nevertheless, anticipating either of those possibilities will protect your interests. Most importantly, do not ignore the Rule 8210 request. It may have severe consequences to your career, including a suspension or barring from the industry. You should respond to the request and, if need be, negotiate on the timing and clarify the scope of the response.