Working for Investors Since 1939

At FINRA, we’re proud of our long history of protecting investors and keeping markets fair.


In 1938, the Maloney Act amended the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to provide for the creation of a regulatory entity that would create and enforce disciplinary rules and promote just and equitable principles of trade. This statute led to the creation of the National Association of Securities Dealers, or NASD, on August 7, 1939. NASD’s mandate was "to protect investors and the public interest, and to remove the impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market.”*


In 2007, NASD consolidated with the member regulation, enforcement and arbitration functions of the NYSE to become FINRA.


For decades, our independent regulation has played a critical role in America’s financial system. Every day we work to enforce high ethical standards, bringing the necessary resources and expertise to regulation and enhancing investor safeguards and market integrity—all at no cost to taxpayers.


Securities regulation has come a long way over the years. It has grown with the needs of investors, as well as the changing landscape of the markets and technology. FINRA has the flexibility to invest in resources that help us better protect investors like you—such as the innovative technology we use to build sophisticated surveillance systems and process extraordinary amounts of data.


Capital markets are constantly changing and becoming more complex. As the markets evolve, we’ll continue to change along with them, adapting our regulatory approach and the technology we use to detect wrongdoing and prevent harm to investors.


One thing that won’t change? Our commitment to protecting investors.


Read Chairman and CEO, Richard G. Ketchum’s message.


* Source:





FINRA is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority.


FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation of the securities industry.


FINRA is not part of the government. We’re an independent, not-for-profit organization authorized by Congress to protect America’s investors by making sure the securities industry operates fairly and honestly.


We do this by:

  • writing and enforcing rules governing the activities of more than 4,135 securities firms with approximately 634,505 brokers;
  • examining firms for compliance with those rules;
  • fostering market transparency; and
  • educating investors.


Our independent regulation plays a critical role in America’s financial system—by enforcing high ethical standards, bringing the necessary resources and expertise to regulation and enhancing investor safeguards and market integrity—all at no cost to taxpayers.


Every investor in America relies on one thing: fair financial markets. That's why FINRA works every day to ensure that:

  • every investor receives the basic protections they deserve;
  • anyone who sells a securities product has been tested, qualified and licensed;
  • every securities product advertisement used is truthful, and not misleading;
  • any securities product sold to an investor is suitable for that investor's needs; and
  • investors receive complete disclosure about the investment product before purchase.


In 2013, through our aggressive vigilance, we brought 1,535 disciplinary actions against registered brokers and firms. We levied more than $65 million in fines. And we ordered more than $9.5 million in restitution to harmed investors. We also referred 660 fraud and insider trading cases to the SEC and other agencies for litigation and/or prosecution.


Learn more about what we do to protect investors and ensure market integrity.



FINRA by the numbers


3,400 employees dedicated to market integrity and investor education


20 offices across the U.S.


660 fraud cases referred for prosecution in 2013


$74.5M in fines and restitution levied against fraudulent traders in 2013


6 billion share trades monitored every day


634,505 brokers under FINRA's supervision

FINRA at a glance


FINRA Infographic Thumbnail

View larger as


You might also like...


FINRA Foundation

Since 2003, the FINRA Foundation has awarded $83 million in grants to develop educational and research programs that protect investors.

Unbiased financial tools and information for military families and all investors from the FINRA Foundation.