WASHINGTON — The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority assessed financial firms and individuals $68 million in fines in 2012 and ordered them to pay a record $34 million in restitution to investors, the self-regulator announced Tuesday.

The agency brought 1,541 disciplinary actions during the year, up from 1,488 last year, and referred nearly 700 cases of potential fraud to the Securities and Exchange Commission or other law enforcement agencies, FINRA said in a release.

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