The MFDA has released new sanctions guidelines which became effective on November 15 (the "Sanction Guidelines"), which it has characterized as a principles-based approach to sanctioning members. It is a shift from the MFDA's historical approach to sanctioning – they previously outlined specific fines and penalties for various offences.
The Sanctions Guidelines have list of factors that hearing panels should consider in determining sanctions. In respect of fines, the MFDA states "generally, the amount of a fine should, at a minimum, have the effect of disgorging the amount of the financial benefit received by the Respondent as a result of the misconduct" and "the amount of a fine should be commensurate with the seriousness of the misconduct".
The MFDA stated that the Sanction Guidelines are intended to "promote transparency by providing a framework of applicable regulatory principles to guide the exercise of discretion in determining sanctions".