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FINRA penalizes ING firms over email retention and review failure

The US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has imposed a $1.2m penalty against five companies of ING Group for violating the responsibility of retaining and reviewing emails for certain periods.

The five indirect subsidiaries of ING Groep include Directed Services, ING America Equities, ING Financial Advisers, ING Financial Partners, and ING Investment Advisors.

FINRA enforcement chief executive vice president Brad Bennett said these firms failed to capture and retain emails from hundreds of representatives and other associated persons, due to wide systemic failures.

According to the US market watchdog complaint, the companies failed to properly configure hundreds of employee email accounts to ensure that the emails sent to and fro were retained and reviewed between 2004 and 2012.

Due to this failing, mails from hundreds of employees and associated persons were not subject to supervisory review, claims FINRA.

Also four firms implemented flawed email review software, which prevented appropriately six million emails between January 2005 and May 2011, from coming under the lens of supervisory agencies.

The regulator charged the firms for breaching the recordkeeping provisions of the federal securities laws and FINRA rules, although the firms neither admitted nor denied the charges.