NASD, the regulator for the brokerage industry, said that fines as a result of disciplinary actions it meted out have risen 21 percent, to $125.4 million versus the prior year.

The overseer also said that it filed over 1,400 actions in 2005, a 1 percent rise over the number of cases filed in 2004.On a positive note, the number of firms expelled from the NASD shrank from 22 in 2004, to 14 this year, and the number of individuals suspended fell to 356 in 2005 from 379 last year. The group said it filed some 120 actions against the mutual fund industry in 2005.

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