The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has fined five affiliates of ING $1.2 million for failing to retain or review millions of emails for periods ranging from two months to more than six years.
NASD rules require that firms develop procedures for the review of email correspondence with the public, and FINRA is taking it very seriously.
In many cases, the email preservation issues show up alongside other compliance shortcomings, so email system preservation and review are checked by FINRA examiners as a matter of course.
In one recent case, FINRA found one firm failed to employ a systematic and consistent method for confirming that its registered representatives were forwarding all securities-related emails for retention. This firm also allegedly failed to have an adequate system in place to confirm whether outside business email addresses were being used for securities-related correspondence and whether all were being retained. The firm failed to reasonably enforce its supervisory procedures to ensure that all securities-related emails registered representatives sent or received were captured, reviewed.