Over the past several months, we’ve received several calls from former Fidelity representatives or employees who were terminated or resigned and had a U5 disclosure relating to issues concerning the firm’s computer reimbursement program.
Now, it appears that many of these former Fidelity representatives or employees are beginning to receive inquiry letters from FINRA, seeking information, pursuant to Rule 8210, about their submissions under the computer reimbursement program, monies received for reimbursement, and questions concerning whether they received any funds from the firm for which they were not entitled, relating to this program or otherwise. It is important to understand that the FINRA exam is serious business, and should be treated as such. Understand, too, that your responses to the inquiry letter are just the first step in FINRA’s review, and your responses can, and may, be used against you, if FINRA develops evidence pointing to a rule violation. Therefore, don’t respond hastily, but respond with due care after you have consulted experienced counsel. The outcome of the examination can have a significant impact on your career – including positions both in the broker-dealer industry and those in other industry segments. Because of this, it often makes sense to hire experienced and knowledgeable legal counsel to defend you.
The more you understand about this process, the better decisions you can make. With that in mind, we offer free information on the FINRA exam and enforcement process, no strings attached. Click here to download our free book, A Stockbroker’s Guide to Regulatory investigations. It will provide an excellent overview of the process, and answer some questions that you are sure to have.
If you’d like to speak with us about your situation to discuss whether we can be of help to you, I invite you to contact us to schedule a brief ten-minute telephone call. In our firm, we routinely represent financial advisors or associated persons facing regulatory inquiries or enforcement actions by FINRA and other industry regulators.
UPDATE June 1, 2018: Since this post was published in December 2017, we’ve received dozens of calls from former, or soon to be former, Fidelity employees. See this updated post here with links to recent news reports as well as a new offer for a free copy of Joel Beck’s new book (published May 2018) for those facing a FINRA regulatory exam.