FINRA sanction guidelines are taking a tougher stand against fraud.

Extensive revisions to the National Adjudicatory Council's sanctions guidelines manual, used by FINRA adjudicators, were recently made to better protect clients and prevent further misconduct, FINRA says

Sanction recommendations increased from one to two years, and adjudication panels were advised to lean toward barring individuals in cases involving fraud, "where aggravating factors predominate over mitigating ones," FINRA says.

The changes announced this week immediately go into effect. The NAC, FINRA's 14-member appellate committee built to hear disciplinary cases, first published the sanctions guidelines manual in 1993 in order to familiarize member firms with common securities rule violations.

The guide is not intended to recommend fixed sanctions for any particular violations, but rather assist FINRA's adjudicators with handing out the appropriate sanctions, according to FINRA.

The updated guidelines manual stresses FINRA's policy of escalating sanctions for RIAs or firms with a track record for reckless disregard for regulatory requirements, according to FINRA.

Updates to the revised Sanction Guidelines are available on FINRA's website.

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