Records were set in 2003 in the securities industry, but not the kind that make people rich. The National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) reported last week that it had suspended or barred a record 830 people from the profession while collecting $32.6 million in fines for disciplinary actions.
The NASD, which oversees the securities profession with the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Stock Exchange, barred 480 people and suspended 350 in 2003. In 2002, the regulator barred 440 and suspended 374. However, fines dropped to $32.6 million in 2003, down from $68.2 million in 2002.
In addition, NASD filed a record 1,352 new enforcement violations, which was increased from 1,271 in 2002. Dow Jones reported that more than 60 enforcement actions were taken against securities firms in 2003.
NASD, the SEC and NYSE have all been under fire for what some have called lax enforcement of both securities laws and their own rules, the Washington Post reported. In fact, it was New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer who uncovered the abuses that led to the recent mutual fund scandal.