FINRA Trumpets Variable Annuity Sales Problems While SEC Falls Silent
April 12, 2019 by Carlton Fields
INRA’s report on its broker-dealer examination findings for 2018 features a substantial discussion of “Unsuitable Variable Annuity Recommendations.” This is in sharp contrast with FINRA’s 2017 report, which didn’t mention variable insurance products at all. It also contrasts with the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) 2019 exam priorities, which, for the first time in some years, does not specify variable insurance products.
FINRA has adopted a practice of annually publishing its observations made in the course of its broker-dealer examinations. One purpose of the report is to help FINRA-member firms refine their compliance policies and procedures. FINRA’s most recent report, published last December, addresses a number of perceived problems: