The FINRA Office of the Ombudsman provides a forum for member firms and their associated persons, public investors, and FINRA staff members to voice their concerns of unfair practices or disparate treatment. The objective of the Ombudsman's Office, as an independent, neutral, and confidential source of assistance, is to receive and address concerns and complaints from any source concerning the operations, enforcement, or other activities of FINRA or any of its staff members. Where established procedures exist currently regarding the application of rules, policies, procedures, or interpretations, the Ombudsman will direct the matter to the appropriate office, department, or company. The function of the Ombudsman's Office is not intended to be an appeals forum for unpopular decisions made in other forums, or an arbitrary alternative to a program that already exists.
The Ombudsman will always attempt to assist you in identifying the appropriate method of resolving your problem or complaint, even if the Office does not become directly involved in the matter.
The Ombudsman's Office functions independently from all other FINRA business line functions; as such, it reports directly to the Audit Committee of FINRA’s Board of Governors. The Office of the Ombudsman serves as an alternative channel of communication—complementing, but not replacing, FINRA's comprehensive program of formal resolution channels that include adjudication and dispute resolution. It has unrestricted access to all company functions, records and personnel. The Ombudsman’s Office does not have direct authority over FINRA personnel or the departments it reviews.
The Office of the Ombudsman is a department staffed with several Ombudsmen who are trained and have experience in handling a variety of matters. The Ombudsman, as a designated neutral party, has the responsibility of maintaining strict confidentiality concerning matters that are brought to his/her attention unless given explicit permission to do otherwise, or unless (a) there appears to be imminent risk of serious harm; (b) in response to binding legal or judicial process; or (c) in response to a request from the SEC. In addition, notice to the Office shall be deemed notice to FINRA in those instances where FINRA is required by law to take corrective or other action upon being put on notice of specific facts or allegations. In such instances where confidential information is required to be disclosed or corporate action is required, the Office shall take reasonable steps to maintain confidentiality as to the identity of the provider of the information where possible. The Ombudsman will take all reasonable steps to protect any records or files pertaining to confidential discussion from inspection by all other persons, including management.
For more information, contact the FINRA Ombudsman's Office at:
9509 Key West Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
Phone: (240) 386-6270
Facsimile: (240) 386-6271
Toll-Free Number: (888) 700-0028
Email: FINRA Office of the Ombudsman