FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation of broker-dealers.
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 broker-dealer industry operates fairly and honestly.
We do this by:
- writing and enforcing rules governing the activities of 3,800 broker-dealers with 635,000 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 2016, through our aggressive vigilance, we brought 1,434 disciplinary actions against registered brokers and firms. We levied $176.3 million in fines. And we ordered $27.9 million in restitution to harmed investors. We also referred more than 785 fraud and insider trading cases to the SEC and other agencies for litigation and/or prosecution.
FINRA's technology is vital to protecting investors—and has become a key component of our ability to:
- effectively oversee brokerage firms;
- accurately monitor the U.S. equities markets;
- quickly detect potential fraud; and
- keep investors informed through tools like BrokerCheck.
Learn more about what we do to protect investors and ensure market integrity.