Two men that cheated on their online qualification exams have been banned by the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. (FINRA).
The U.S. self-regulatory organization alleged that two test takers — a former rep with Equitable Advisors LLC and an unregistered employee with Barclays Capital Inc. who was seeking registration as an investment banking rep — both used public internet forums to find exam answers while taking online exams.
The two consented to the entry of FINRA’s findings without admitting or denying the allegations.
FINRA said that these enforcement actions are its first cases to allege cheating on remote exams. Since January 2021 it has also banned 12 others for cheating on in-person exams.
The SRO noted that it began allowing online testing due to the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. Those online exams are proctored remotely and use camera-equipped computers.
“Test cheaters are on notice: regardless of the testing environment, FINRA remains vigilant in our efforts to detect cheating and will vigorously pursue disciplinary action — including permanent bars — against any individual who cheats on qualification examinations,” said Jessica Hopper, executive vice president and head of FINRA’s enforcement department, in a release.