Small Firm Helpline

Background

In the year since we introduced our FINRA360 initiative, FINRA has taken a series of actions to enhance support for small firms, including providing small firms with tools and resources to help them comply with regulations.

A consistent comment that FINRA has heard is a desire on the part of small firms for a tool to allow them to get answers to general questions that did not rise to a level that required involvement by their Regulatory Coordinator.

“A common request from the listening tour and other interactions with our members—especially smaller firms—is that we provide more tools to assist firms in achieving compliance. We are stepping up our efforts in this area.”

— FINRA CEO Robert Cook, Remarks at 2017 FINRA Annual Conference

In January 2018, FINRA launched a Small Firm Helpline to provide direct assistance with answers to general and routine questions, and direct callers to the proper regulatory staff and other departments. The Small Firm Helpline complements the work of FINRA's Regulatory Coordinators, who are the primary points of contact for firms seeking technical assistance or regulatory information. The Helpline will serve as the clearinghouse for routine calls and general information, which will make it faster and easier for small firms to get answers. The Helpline also will free up other critical FINRA resources to help firms with more substantive matters such as examinations, financial questions, the implementation of rules and licensing requirements.

FINRA employees answer the toll-free Helpline—(833) 26-FINRA or (833)-263-4672—which operates 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST) Monday through Friday.

Summary of Actions

  • Launched a Small Firm Helpline where small firms can get help navigating FINRA's systems and resources.

Additional Small Firm Initiatives

In addition to the Small Firm Helpline, FINRA has implemented other programs for small firms:

Benefits Specific to Small Firms

  • Launched the Small Firm Helpline.
  • Increased the number of Certified Registered Compliance Professional small firm scholarships.
  • Significantly reduced the small firm registration fee for FINRA conferences.
  • Initiated a retrospective review of FINRA Rule 4311 (Carrying Agreements), especially important to smaller firms, as they often rely on carrying agreements.
  • Created the Capital Acquisition Broker (CAB) rule set for firms engaged in a limited range of corporate-financing activities.

General Benefits that also aid Small Firms