FINRA Billing/Collections Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
General Billing/Collection Questions
Q1. What are the methods of making payments for FINRA invoices?
A1. The preferred method of payment is through E-Bill, which firms can access via the Firm Gateway. Visit the E-Bill Web page for more information on making payments via E-Bill.
The next best way to make payment to FINRA is via check. When making payments by check, include the invoice number with your payment.
Wire/ACH payments are also acceptable but please remember to include the invoice number as the reference number so we can properly apply your payment.
Q2. Will I receive a paper invoice from FINRA?
A2. FINRA's primary delivery method for invoices is electronic via E-Bill (except for arbitration, fines and costs, and miscellaneous billing). FINRA no longer automatically mail invoices to firms. Firms that choose to receive a paper invoice must opt-in via E-Bill to receive it.
Q3. Who do I call if I have questions regarding specific items on my FINRA invoice or other collection questions?
|Invoice Type or FINRA Process||BILLING SERVICE CONTACT|
|Advertising||Dawit Beru (240) 386-5308|
|Arbitration/Matrics||Jeni Baker (240) 386-5188|
|BDW Cancellation Process||Chantel Wright (240) 386-5392|
|CMA (Change in Membership Application)||Dawit Beru (240) 386-5308|
|Corporate Actions||Emily Maurer (240) 386-5437|
|CRD (Central Registration Depository)||Jeni Baker (240) 386-5188|
|E-Bill||Dawit Beru (240) 386-5308|
|Education & Training||Emily Maurer (240) 386-5437|
|FNC (Fines and Costs)||Chantel Wright (240) 386-5392|
|GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board)||Dawit Beru (240) 386-5308|
|Miscellaneous Billing||Jeni Baker (240) 386-5188|
|MREGN (Member Regulation Fee) Annual Assessment||Chantel Wright (240) 386-5392|
|ORF (OTC Equities Reporting Facility)||Vicki Gincel (240) 386-5394|
|REGT Filing Extensions||Chantel Wright (240) 386-5392|
|RGFEE (Regulatory Transaction Fee)||Vicki Gincel (240) 386-5394|
|Suspension Notices||Dawit Beru (240) 386-5308|
|TAF (Trading Activity Fee)||Michelle Glunt (240) 386-5351|
|TRACE (Fixed Income Regulation FEE/ Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine)||Emily Maurer (240) 386-5437|
|General Billing/Invoice questions||Michelle Glunt (240) 386-5351|
|General Collections questions||FINRA Accounts Receivable Department (240) 386-5910|
Q4. If a firm received notice of an unpaid invoice, can they make payment with funds in Flex-Funding Account?
A4. Yes, firms are able to reallocate funds currently in their Flex-Funding Account to pay an open invoice on E-Bill.
Q5. Where can I find more information on how to use E-Bill?
A5. Please see the E-Bill page.
Q6. How do I access E-Bill?
A6. E-Bill can be accessed thru Firm Gateway. Contact your firm's Super Account Administrator (SAA) for entitlement to E-Bill.
Q7. Where can I find more information on requesting a refund from our flex-funding account?
A7. Please see the Flex-Funding Accounts Refunds Request page.
TAF (Trading Activity Fee)
Q1. Where can I find more information regarding TAF?
A1. Please see the Trading Activity Fee page.
Annual Assessment (Member Regulation Fee/MREGN)
Q1. What is the Annual Assessment Invoice?
A1. The Annual Assessment Invoice is your Annual FINRA Membership Fee (This is also known as MREGN (Member Regulation Fee).
Q2. What is included on the Annual Assessment Invoice?
A2. The Annual Assessment Invoice is based on a firm's previous years quarterly FOCUS Reports, which is the basis for calculating the Gross Income Assessment Fee (GIA Fee), and the number of registered representatives on record for the firm as of December 31 the previous year (PA Fee).
Q3. How is the GIA calculated?
A3. The GIA currently is assessed through a seven-tiered rate structure with a minimum GIA of $1,200. The assessable annual GIA is the greater of (1) the amount that would be the GIA based on the existing rate structure (current year GIA) or (2) a three-year average of the GIA to be calculated by adding the current-year GIA plus the GIA assessed on the firm over the previous two calendar years, divided by three. There are a number of factors to be taken into consideration for the GIA and more specific information can be found in Regulatory Notice 09-56.
Q4. If a firm is going to amend its FOCUS report or has filed an amended Focus report, does the firm need to inform FINRA Finance before it pays its invoice or should the firm wait for the adjusted invoice?
A4. Firms should call FINRA Finance if amendments affect the revenue totals and if their gross FOCUS revenue is greater than $1 million.
Q5. If a firm files a Form BDW subsequent to paying its Member Regulation Fee, will the firm be entitled to a refund?
A5. Firms will be eligible for a prorated refund of the Gross Income Assessment, unless the BDW is filed in the fourth quarter, in which case no refund is available. Personnel Assessments are neither refunded nor prorated.
Q6. How is the Personnel Assessment determined?
A6. The Personnel Assessment is based on the firm's number of registered representatives as of December 31 of the previous year under a tiered rate structure. The fee structure is as follows:
|Number of Reps||Fee|
If you have questions regarding the number of registered representatives used in calculating your firm's PA assessment, please contact Daniel Hardesty at (240) 386-5472.
Q7. If a firm terminates any of its personnel prior to year-end, will the firm receive a Personnel Assessment refund?
A7. No. Personnel Assessments are neither refunded nor prorated.
Q8. Will firms be billed for additional Personnel Assessment if they hire new personnel during the year?
A8. No. As noted above the Personnel Assessment is based solely on the number of registered representatives as of December 31 of the preceding year.
Q9. Can firms view their invoices on the CRD website?
A9. No, however, your invoice is available through E-Bill, which you can access via the Firm Gateway.
Q10. Can firms pay their invoices through the Flex Funding Account?
A10. Yes, firms can reallocate funds via E-Bill.
Q11. When is the payment due? Can we pay the Annual Assessment Invoice in installments?
A11. Firms can pay the entire invoice upon the receipt of the invoice. If a firm chooses, payments can be made in 4 installments as follows:
- 25% due upon receipt of the invoice
- 25% due June 1
- 25% due September 1
- 25% due December 1
Q12. Is the GIA the same fee as the Annual Renewals Statement received and paid in December each year?
A12. No, the GIA is not the CRD renewal statement that firms pay at the end of the year.
- The GIA for each firm is based on the revenue the firm filed on its FOCUS Reports in the previous year and is paid directly to FINRA (Membership Fee). Read more information on the GIA on FINRA's website.
- The CRD Renewal Statement consists of fees based on the states in which firms have personnel. FINRA collects these fees on behalf of the states and passes the fees directly to the states.
ORF (Over The Counter Reporting Facility)
Q1. Where can I find out more information on ORF?
A1. Please see the ORF Web page.
Q2. Where do I get the trade detail for my ORF invoice?
A2. The ORF trade detail is available on E-Bill. You can access the trade detail by clicking on the link beside the invoice.
Q3. Who do I contact for the user ID detail for the ORF Invoice?
A3. Contact FINRA Operations at (866) 776-0800.
TRACE (Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine/Fixed Income Regulation Fee)
Q1. Where do I get the trade detail for my TRACE invoice?
A1. The TRACE trade detail is available on E-Bill. You can access the trade detail by clicking on the link beside the invoice.
Q2. Who do I contact for the user ID detail for the TRACE Invoice?
A2. Contact Emily Maurer at (240) 386-5437 or by email.
Q3. Do firms need to call and discontinue their TRACE service even though they are terminated?
A3. Yes, firms must call FINRA Operations at (866) 776-0800. Before termination is complete, firms must complete the electronic order to discontinue service.
RGFEE (Regulatory Transaction Fee/Sec-31)
Q1. General Information
A1. This section is designed to help FINRA member firms understand the process FINRA uses to calculate the Regulatory Transaction Fee.
The basis for the Regulatory Transaction Fee is trade reports provided to FINRA, by firms, through the Over the Counter Reporting Facility (ORF), the Alternative Display Facility (ADF), the FINRA/NASDAQ Trade Reporting Facility (NQTRF), and the FINRA/NYSE Trade Reporting Facility (NYTRF). Activity for each trade reporting facility is broken out onto a separate line on the invoice. The invoice line item for each trade reporting facility includes fees for trades for the month net of trade reversals and step-out transactions.
Trade reports are accumulated and processed, for billing, on a monthly basis. In cases where a reported trade is amended, FINRA uses the final state of the trade as the basis for determining whether the trade should be included, or excluded, from the Regulatory Transaction Fee calculations. For example, if a trade has been corrected three times during a month, the state of the trade following the third, and final, correction will be used as the basis for the calculation for that month.
Q2. Which date drives the calculations?
A2. FINRA uses the Trade Report Date (i.e. the date the trade is reported to the FINRA facility) for determining the appropriate billing period and rate (which is the same rate as that determined by the SEC for calculating FINRA’s Section 31 fees).
Q3. What trade amounts are used for the calculations?
A3. The Contract Value (Entered Price times Entered Volume) is multiplied by the applicable rate to determine the fee.
Q4. Which firm is billed?
A4. Generally, the clearing firm reported on the sell-side of the transaction will be charged for the Regulatory Transaction Fee.
If the clearing firm that is determined to be on the sell-side of the trade is not an active FINRA member, the Regulatory Transaction Fee will be charged to the clearing firm on the buy-side. If neither the sell-side clearing firm nor the buy-side clearing firm is an active FINRA member, the Regulatory Transaction Fee will be charged to the firm associated with the MPID on the sell-side of the trade. If that firm is not an active FINRA member, the Regulatory Transaction Fee will be charged to the firm associated with the MPID on the buy-side of the trade.
Q5. Which trades are included?
- Trades marked by the reporting firm as “tape-reported”(i.e. Client-provided Publish Flag of ‘Y’-Yes) that have not been cancelled
- Clearing-Only Trades that have not been cancelled and are in the following categories only:
- Options exercises
- Away from the market trades
- Position transfers
Q6. Which trades in equity securities are excluded from the Regulatory Transaction Fee calculations?
A6. Reportable trades in equity issues not subject to prompt last sale reporting (currently only applies to 144A securities)
Q7. How are reversals reflected in the calculations?
A7. The contract values for trade reversals reported in the month are calculated in the same way as regular trades. These are then subtracted from the aggregate contract value.
Q8. How are Step-outs reflected in the calculations?
A8. Fees are transferred on trade reports marked as ‘Step-out with fees’ only if:
- Both the reporting clearing number and the contra clearing number are active FINRA members and
- The Reporting Party is on the Buy-side of the trade report and the Reporting Obligation is ‘Yes’.
The contract values for step-out transactions reported in the month are calculated in the same way as regular trades and result in a credit of the fee to the reporting party and a charge to the contra party. These are then included in the aggregate contract value.
Q9. Where can I find out more information on RGFEE?
A9. Please see Regulatory Notice 08-72.
Q10. Where can I find more detail for my invoice?
A10. All invoice details are available through your firm's trading department. Please refer to Regulatory Notice 08-72 for more information.
CRD (Central Registration Depository)
Q1. A Firm sent in payment; however, it is not reflected on E-Bill. Where did the payment go?
A2. If the payment wasn't identified with the invoice number, then the payment is usually applied to the firm's Flex-Funding account.
GASB (Governmental Accounting Standards Board)
Q1. What are GASB Fees?
A1. The GASB Accounting Support Fee is collected on a quarterly basis from member firms that report trades to the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB).
Q2. How are the GASB fees calculated?
A2. Each member firm's assessment is based on the member firm's portion of the total par value of municipal securities transactions reported by all FINRA member firms to the MSRB during the previous quarter.
Q1. Can I get a fee waiver?
A1. Please send an email to Emily Maurer with your request and FINRA Finance Department will forward it to the Corporate Action Department for review.
Q1: I checked the system and the balance is showing $0.
A1: To see your firm's fee calculation, go to the Fee Cabinet in the POS System. Select the tab "Fed wire or Fee Info". Call the Corporate Finance Department at (240) 386-4623 for help.
Arbitration and Mediation
Q1. Where can I find out more information on Arbitration and Mediation?
A1. Please see the arbitration and mediation page.
Q2. I show that my invoice has a credit balance. When should I expect to receive the refund check?
A2. If the case is closed, the refund will be sent out within 60 days starting from the day the case was closed if there is no other outstanding balance.
Q3. I am expecting a refund check to be sent out. Does the refund check get sent to the attorney or the party listed in the case?
A3. The refund will be sent to the care of the attorney but the refund check will always be made out to the party listed on the case. We do not make the check payable to the attorneys.
Q4. I do not believe a fee that I was assessed is accurate. How can I get the error corrected?
A4. You would need to reach out to your case administrator. The case administrator assesses the fees in the case and would be responsible for any adjustments.
Q5. How can I get a copy of older invoices for an arbitration case?
A5. If you are the individual who was listed in the case or an attorney who represented a party in the case, you can email [email protected] or call (240) 386-5910 to obtain the invoice. If you send an email, please include the case ID number and the firm/individual to whom that invoice was billed.
Q6. The address that was listed on my invoice is incorrect. How do I update it?
A6. If the address needs to be updated you should email [email protected]. Please include the new address in the email as well as the party name and case ID number.
Q7. How can I start a payment plan or apply for a financial hardship?
A7. If you want to start a payment plan, you should email [email protected]. Investors and associated persons may apply for a financial hardship by sending an email to [email protected]. Please indicate which option you are requesting and reference the customer number in the email.