I am very pleased to announce that today the securities industry's new self-regulatory body, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), officially began operations. The consolidation of NASD and NYSE Member Regulation has been approved by the SEC and is now effective.
FINRA is now the largest, non-governmental regulatory organization for securities brokers and dealers doing business in the United States—overseeing more than 5,000 firms employing over 660,000 registered representatives.
The creation of FINRA is an historic opportunity for all of us involved in this industry—and will help define the future of self-regulation, making it more efficient, effective and streamlined.
Our goal should be nothing less than making FINRA a truly modern regulatory body suited for today's complex and competitive global capital markets.
We at FINRA are committed to a regulatory regime that takes into account the needs of firms of all sizes and business models, and we aim to find new ways to assist the industry in meeting its compliance and regulatory obligations.
As a modern regulator, FINRA must strive to preserve investor choice and help ease investors' interaction with the marketplace. In today's complex environment, FINRA will continually survey the landscape for new regulatory issues and work proactively to address them.
For now, firms that have been regulated only by NASD or NYSE will be subject to no immediate changes. Dually-regulated firms can expect to see immediate changes in the area of exam coordination, but will be subject to both NASD and NYSE rules until the rulebooks are consolidated. Within the next 10-15 days, FINRA will mail a $35,000 check to every NASD member firm to reflect the cost-savings resulting from the consolidation.
I think you'll agree that nothing is more important to the future of the securities industry than investors' strong and deep confidence in America's capital markets. FINRA is committed to working with you every day to build a marketplace defined by trust, integrity and fairness. Your businesses will be stronger, investors will be better protected and we will be prepared for the challenges of a new era in the global marketplace.
Thank you for your support during this process. We will continue to keep you updated as the integration progresses.
Mary L. Schapiro
Chief Executive Officer, FINRA