FINRA Fines 5 Broker-Dealers Over Bogus 'Handling Fees'

Law360, New York (September 7, 2011, 8:45 PM EDT) -- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority on Wednesday announced it had fined five broker-dealers for assessing improperly labeled “handling fees” on clients' bills as a way to make more profits on transactions.

FINRA said that to inflate commission revenues, the five firms had charged so-called handling fees that were “far in excess” of the amount needed to process transactions. The "improper" handling fees made the firms' commission schedules misleading, it said.

FINRA doled out the penalties, which totaled $910,000, after conducting a targeted review of improper fees...
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