The US Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, has made an announcement today. This announcement pertained to a fine of $150,000 being imposed against Santander Investment Securities.
This fine is issued thanks to the firm failing to capture about 6 million emails sent from 109 employee email accounts in order to enact supervisory revision.
A Five-Year Blunder
As the official press release details, between the years of 2014 and 2019, Santander had refrained from properly monitoring its email review platform.
As such, the firm had failed to capture six million-plus emails that were sent out thanks to a coding error. For more than five years, the problem persisted, as the firm had failed to identify the issue for some time.
Because of this, the firm was found to be in violation of FINRA Rules 2010 and 3110, as well as violating NASD Rule 3010.
In the official document, the reason for the issue, to begin with, is attributed to an email server change that was enacted by Santander back in January of 2019. As a result of this change, emails from the employees sent from the local server had failed to reach the email review platform.
The firm had subsequently failed to conduct testing in order to check whether or not the emails were delivered, failing to discover the problem up until January of 2019.
FINRA was quick to highlight that the firm self-reported the coding issue in spite of failing to identify the underlying problem with said email review system, doing so in 2019.
As the statement showed, in January of 2019, the firm was looking for a specific email within its review platform system, reporting the issue after identifying it, as stipulated in Rule 4530.
From there, the failure’s underlying cause was investigated, with changes to procedures and policies enacted in order to prevent a similar issue from happening in the future. The firm had further conducted lookback reviews of a number of emails that had not been captured initially as a remedy, as well.
More Than 6 Million Emails Without Review
Within this relevant period, the official press release stated that Santander had failed to record an approximate of 6 million emails, having been sent by 109 separate employee email accounts. It should be noted, however, that 2018 was more severe than the rest, as more than three-quarters of the emails sent by the firm’s employees had been affected by it.