The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) continues its supervisory activity as it recently issued a censure order against ViewTrade, along with a fine of $250,000.

The company was blamed for establishing and implementing a written anti-money laundering program from July 2017 till at least February 2020. The implementation of the program would automatically detect and report suspicious transactions.

Further, ViewTrade failed to establish, document and maintain a system of risk management controls and supervisory procedures that were designed to manage the risk provision of customers. Those lapses happened between July 2017 and February 2020.

An Institution-Focused Broker-Dealer

ViewTrade operates as a broker-dealer offering self-directed trading of stocks and options to its customers primarily on its web-based trading platform. It accepts clients from overseas jurisdictions and institutional clients generate around 90 percent of the trading platform ’s revenue.

FINRA highlighted that it managed accounts for retail and institutional customers, including FFis, in the period of the lapses. ViewTrade even offered underwriting services to companies conducting initial public offerings (IPOs) including Chinese companies which it has now shuttered.

“From July 2017 through at least February 2020, ViewTrade did not reasonably tailor its AML program to reasonably monitor for and report suspicious activity in light of the firm's business model and customer base,” FINRA detailed.

“ViewTrade failed to timely or reasonably detect, investigate and respond to red flags of suspicious activities by retail customers, including in IPOs where ViewTrade served as an underwriter.”

In addition to the censure order and penalty, FINRA took an undertaking from ViewTrade, ensuring the company would hire third-party consultants to review its inadequacy, giving them access to necessary operational information.

Earlier, FINRA fined SageTrader, a US-based introducing broker, $775,000 for failure in supervising potentially manipulative trading between 2013 and 2019. The agency also slapped penalties on BofA Securities, Barclays and several other companies in recent months.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) continues its supervisory activity as it recently issued a censure order against ViewTrade, along with a fine of $250,000.

The company was blamed for establishing and implementing a written anti-money laundering program from July 2017 till at least February 2020. The implementation of the program would automatically detect and report suspicious transactions.

Further, ViewTrade failed to establish, document and maintain a system of risk management controls and supervisory procedures that were designed to manage the risk provision of customers. Those lapses happened between July 2017 and February 2020.

An Institution-Focused Broker-Dealer

ViewTrade operates as a broker-dealer offering self-directed trading of stocks and options to its customers primarily on its web-based trading platform. It accepts clients from overseas jurisdictions and institutional clients generate around 90 percent of the trading platform ’s revenue.

FINRA highlighted that it managed accounts for retail and institutional customers, including FFis, in the period of the lapses. ViewTrade even offered underwriting services to companies conducting initial public offerings (IPOs) including Chinese companies which it has now shuttered.

“From July 2017 through at least February 2020, ViewTrade did not reasonably tailor its AML program to reasonably monitor for and report suspicious activity in light of the firm's business model and customer base,” FINRA detailed.

“ViewTrade failed to timely or reasonably detect, investigate and respond to red flags of suspicious activities by retail customers, including in IPOs where ViewTrade served as an underwriter.”

In addition to the censure order and penalty, FINRA took an undertaking from ViewTrade, ensuring the company would hire third-party consultants to review its inadequacy, giving them access to necessary operational information.

Earlier, FINRA fined SageTrader, a US-based introducing broker, $775,000 for failure in supervising potentially manipulative trading between 2013 and 2019. The agency also slapped penalties on BofA Securities, Barclays and several other companies in recent months.