Upcoming Changes to FINRA Examinations

August 22, 2013

By now, you've heard us talk often about the shift in our examination program to one that's more risk-based. Today, I am writing with an update on the most recent changes and what it means for your firm's next FINRA onsite cycle examination.

You'll find that we're requesting more targeted information and data before arriving on-site and earlier in the examination process. Rather than broad record requests, we are striving to make requests more focused on identified risks and other issues that will inform risk identification. And, we're using this information to further our understanding of your firm and to make more informed decisions about which risks to focus on during our examination.

To facilitate this process, we're introducing new examination technology. We have retired WebIR and added a new record-request capability in the Firm Gateway. The new technology facilitates the electronic exchange of information between FINRA and your firm prior to and during the on-site portion of the examination. You'll receive more information about accessing and using the record-request functionality before your next examination.

Our new approach is designed to have examiners spend more time analyzing information about your firm before arriving on-site, which may reduce the total time we spend at your firm. Our goal is to spend time at your office meeting with management, and completing reviews and other tasks that can be done most effectively, while on-site—such as observing firm practices, and reviewing documentation to test the adequacy of firm controls and/or compliance policies and procedures.

We look forward to hearing your comments and suggestions so that we can further refine our programs.


Susan Axelrod Signature 

Susan Axelrod
Executive Vice President, Regulatory Operations