It's time for the wirehouses to forgive another year of retention bonus "loans," and everyone in the industry expects we'll see a lot of advisors on the move. The trade groups are trying to close the door now.
The Securities Industry & Financial Markets Association wants FINRA to suspend any advisor who refuses to pay back the part of the bonus he or she still owes -- even if bankruptcy is on the table.
SIFMA suggests that even destitute advisors have to make good on their clients' arbitration claims, so extending that practice to what the advisors owe their old firms would be a tiny logical leap.
FINRA does not seem convinced. Reportedly they're not eager to become a collection agency for the wirehouses against their own former reps.
In any event, the golden handcuffs are lighter now. If we see a "running of the bulls" wave of defections, it should start soon.