The organization responsible for the oversight of securities firms and securities brokers activities is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Congress has authorized this organization to help regulate various areas of the financial industry in the United States. The mission of FINRA is to significantly decrease the opportunities for unscrupulous businesses or individuals to take advantage of honest investors. This is done by carefully overseeing the players in the United States financial markets and more.
Board of Governors
FINA is operated by a Chief Executive Officer of NYSE Regulations, a Chief Executive Officer as well as eleven Public Governors. There are also ten Governors including an Independent Dealer, Floor Member Governor, three Small Firm Governors, three Large Firm Governors, and a Mid-Size Firm Governor. The Large Firm, Small Firm, and Mid-size Firm Governors are all elected to their positions with FINRA.
One of the main functions of FINRA is to monitor financial markets to immediately detect any type of fraudulent activity that may occur. It has the personal, as well as technical capabilities, to provide a detailed analysis of financial markets. FINRA can determine when any type of activity in the financial markets is an anomaly or is associated with fraudulent activity and more.
FINRA has shown the most effective way to keep the public safe from financial fraud is to have them educated and informed about investing as well as how to discover investing practices that are unethical. FINRA provides the public with various interactive tools and information about the financial markets. This information is designed to help investors easily detect anything that seems to be a financial scam. It also helps investors analyze funds. FINRA’s database is available to investors so they know if they are dealing with a broker or brokerage firm that is properly licensed and registered.
Brokerage firm members of the regulatory authority and registered brokers have all agreed to comply with FINRA’s by-laws. These cover the rules pertaining to how a brokerage business is operated and how investment products are promoted. Should a brokerage firm or broker not follow these standards; they could face a disciplinary action. Should an investor file a complaint about suspicious investment activity with FINA, an investigation will immediately be started into the behavior of its member broker or brokerage firm.
FINA is responsible for creating investment rules for those who are active in the securities industry. The rules it creates are based on input from different areas of the industry. This includes member brokers, investors as well as the SEC, and more. FINA will draft new investment rules when necessary. They are then carefully reviewed by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority committees. The final step in the process is for the rules to be submitted to the SEC for review before becoming official.
The largest forum designated for arbitration is operated by FINRA. It is designed to provide resolutions between member firms and their customers. FINRA will also provide arbitration between brokerage firms and their employees. All agreements that define the relationship between stockbrokers and their clients will have a clause concerning mandatory arbitration. This requires investors to waive their right to court action and resolve their dispute using arbitration. It is still possible for class action cases to be permitted to proceed in the court system. Arbitration contracts are sometimes rejected in different situations.
FINRA works out of two different headquarters located in New York City and Washington, D.C. FINRA also has 20 regional offices that are located in different parts of the United States. Congress is responsible for authorizing the creation of FINRA and its designated activities. FINRA remains a self-regulated organization. It creates and maintains high standards for its member investment firms and brokers. FINRA is known for promoting integrity and competency in the securities industry.