Dallas-Based Southwest Securities Settles for $500,000 FINRA Charges It Improperly Used Paid Consultants

Southwest Securities Inc., a Dallas-based financial firm, has consented to a $500,000 fine imposed by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The SRO claims that the broker-dealer paid consultants to solicit municipal securities business-a violation Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board Rule G-38-and did not comply with a number of the board’s other requirements. FINRA says that the Texas broker-dealer’s alleged misconduct threatened the municipal securities market’s integrity.

Under Rule G-38, municipal securities dealers are not allowed to pay persons not affiliated with the company for the purposes of soliciting business for it. Southwest Securities, however, allegedly worked with these consultants to obtain 24 municipal securities underwritings and roles as financial adviser to Texas municipalities. The consultants were paid over $200,000 and promised a percent of earnings from any municipal securities business solicited. The broker-dealer also allegedly issued $26,000 in one-time payments to three individuals for their involvement in obtaining this type of business for the firm.

Other violations, allegedly included:
• Failing to properly submit MSRB forms.
• Inaccurate reporting to over 300 municipal securities transactions.
• Inadequate supervisory systems and procedure, which should have been revised to meet a MSRB Rule G-38 amendment that doesn’t allow unaffiliated individuals to receive payment soliciting municipal securities business.
• Engaging in prohibited municipal securities business-a violation of MSRB Rule G-37
By settling, the Southwest Securities is not denying or admitting the Texas securities charges.

Related Web Resources:
Southwest Securities to Pay $500K, Settling Charges Firm Improperly Used Paid Consultants, BNA Broker/Dealer Compliance Report, March 9, 2011
Dallas broker pays $500,000 to settle bond query, Dallas News, March 7, 2011
FFINRA Fines Southwest Securities $500,000 for Paying Former Texas Municipal Issuer Officials and Others to Solicit Municipal Securities Business on its Behalf, FINRA, March 7, 2011
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