Small Firms Information
FINRA has created this page to provide information for the small firm community—those firms with 150 or fewer registered representatives. This page contains current and past communications, links of interest to small firms, and other information.
August 17, 2018
Materials from the SIE Exam and Exam Restructuring Calls
FINRA's Registration and Disclosure Department held conference calls to discuss the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam and Exam Restructuring initiative. The calls included an overview of the SIE Exam and the restructure of representative level qualification exams that will become effective October 1, 2018.
- Download slides from the August 15 Exam Restructuring conference call
- Download slides from the July 31 Exam Restructuring conference call
August 1, 2018
FINRA is offering five scholarships to industry professionals from small firms to attend the FINRA Institute at Georgetown Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP)® program. The scholarship covers full tuition for the two-week program, including room and board. FINRA is accepting applications now through September 17, 2018.
For more information, including eligibility requirements, the selection process and the application form, please visit the CRCP Scholarship Program page.
July 16, 2018
May 15 – 17, 2019 | Washington, DC
Mark your calendar—the FINRA Annual Conference returns May 2019, and will include sessions and events specifically for small firms. Check out highlights from the 2018 event and register early to take advantage of the discounted rate for small firm in-person attendees.
June 29, 2018
Join FINRA on July 23 at 4:00 p.m. ET for the second Small Firm Report conference call. The discussion will include recent updates to FINRA rule proposals, including background checks and Rule 3110(e) and exam restructuring and the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam. The call will conclude with Q&A.
June 6, 2018
Beginning on July 9, 2018, firms can rely on FINRA's verification process for purposes of compliance with the requirement to conduct a search of public records relating to bankruptcies, judgments and liens. These enhancements are likely to: (1) reduce the costs to firms associated with conducting these public records checks, which often involve finding and hiring a vendor; (2) result in more timely reporting of disclosure information to the benefit of regulators, investors and firms; and (3) result in a significant reduction of late disclosure fees related to judgments and liens. See Information Notice 5/18/18.
May 1, 2018
FINRA published a Written Supervisory Procedures checklist for capital acquisition brokers (CABs). It outlines selected key topics, ranging from administration to supervision and oversight.
April 25, 2018
FINRA published a comprehensive progress report summarizing the significant operational and regulatory changes FINRA has made in the first year of its ongoing FINRA360 organizational review.
April 25, 2018
FINRA Investor Education published information to help investors better understand FINRA Rules Relating to Protecting Seniors from Financial Exploitation. Firms may use this to explain their ability to place a temporary hold on the disbursement of funds or securities and role of the trusted contact person.
April 4, 2018
FINRA updated the Anti-Money Laundering Template for Small Firms to reflect member firms’ obligations under FINRA Rule 3310 in light of the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network’s (FinCEN) final rule on Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions (CDD Rule).
March 6, 2018
Small Firm Governors Request Support to Exclude Small Firms from PCAOB Requirement
The Small Firm Advisory Committee and FINRA's three small firm representatives elected to the FINRA Board of Governors are working independently, and separately from FINRA, with members of Congress, the SEC and the PCAOB in an effort to gain a small firm exclusion from the requirement to have their annual audit conducted by a PCAOB registered auditor.
FINRA is requesting that you "opt-in" to a separate email distribution list focused on the PCAOB issue. This will allow you to receive future updates about this important issue affecting small firms. If you are interested in hearing more about these efforts or assisting, please "opt-in" to this separate and distinct email distribution list by emailing email@example.com. Please provide your contact information, phone number and email address.
January 9, 2018
Each year FINRA publishes its regulatory and exam priorities to highlight significant risks and issues that could adversely affect investors and market integrity in the coming year.
January 9, 2018
FINRA has published a set of frequently asked questions on FINRA's rules relating to financial exploitation of seniors. The rules become effective February 5. New FINRA Rule 2165 (Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults) permits members to place temporary holds on disbursements of funds or securities from the accounts of specified customers where there is a reasonable belief of financial exploitation of these customers. Amendments to FINRA Rule 4512 (Customer Account Information) require members to make reasonable efforts to obtain the name of and contact information for a trusted contact person for a customer's account.
January 2, 2018
FINRA's Small Firm Conference focuses on small firms' practices and tips for complying with FINRA rules. Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to discuss small firm issues with FINRA senior staff.
The conference is scheduled for November 7 – 8, 2018, in Santa Monica, CA. Register today.
Now Available: On Demand Sessions From FINRA’s 2017 Small Firm Conference
Free recordings of all sessions from FINRA’s 2017 Small Firm Conference are now available to member firms and CRCP graduates. Visit the Small Firm Conference page to the recordings.
December 6, 2017
In response to requests from firms to make available a summary of observations from FINRA cycle examinations, FINRA published a Report on Examination Findings. The report, a key outcome of the FINRA360 initiative and CEO Robert Cook's listening tour, consolidates select observations from recent examinations that FINRA considers worth highlighting due to their potential impacts on investors and the markets, or the frequency with which they occur, and describes certain practices FINRA has observed to be effective in certain circumstances. The report includes a summary of additional observations to draw firms' attention to areas where operational deficiencies have challenged some firms' ability to meet their compliance obligations. The report allows firms to improve their compliance functions based on the experiences of other firms, and to better anticipate potential areas of concern before their own cycle examinations.
Read the Report on FINRA Examination Findings.
New Compliance Resources for Firms
The CVD was developed to provide firms with more options when searching for vendors that offer compliance-related products and services. Current vendor categories include Compliance Consulting, Cybersecurity, Data Management, Email & Social Media Archive, Exam Prep & Firm CE, Insurance Brokers, Monitoring, PCAOB-Registered Accountants, and Registration services.
The FINRA Compliance Calendar provides firms with a calendar view of upcoming required filings, a schedule of live educational opportunities and events, and significant deadlines.
April 25, 2017
A Few Minutes With FINRA are brief video segments in which senior FINRA staff discuss timely regulatory topics and respond to comments from firms on specific areas of concern. Watch the latest installments on:
- High-Risk Registered Representative Program
- Risk Monitoring Report Cards
- Insider Trading “Red Flags” and Filing a Tip With FINRA
- Special Notice: Engagement Initiative
May 23, 2016
FINRA has created a Cybersecurity Checklist to assist small firms in establishing a cybersecurity program to identity and assess cybersecurity threats, protect assets from cyber intrusions, detect when their systems and assets have been compromised, plan for the response when a compromise occurs and implement a plan to recover lost, stolen or unavailable assets. This checklist is primarily derived from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cybersecurity Framework and FINRA's Report on Cybersecurity Practices. Use of this checklist does not create a "safe harbor" with respect to FINRA rules, federal or state securities laws, or other applicable federal or state regulatory requirements.
View the latest issue of the Quarterly Disciplinary Review, a summary sampling of recent disciplinary actions involving misconduct by registered representatives that call attention to, and remind registered representatives and firms of, specific conduct that violates FINRA rules and may result in disciplinary action.
The FINRA Rule Filing Status Report provides firms with a comprehensive list of FINRA rule filings currently pending with the SEC, as well as FINRA rule filings approved by the SEC, filed with the SEC for immediate effectiveness, or withdrawn within the last six months.