Ombudsman is a Swedish term that means representative. The International Ombuds Association describes an ombudsman as “one who assists individuals and groups in the resolution of conflicts or concerns.”
FINRA’s Office of the Ombudsman is an independent, neutral, and confidential resource for anyone with questions or concerns about FINRA, which regulates the U.S. brokerage industry. We assist individuals who have questions or concerns about the activities of FINRA and its employees, believe the issue cannot be resolved through normal channels, or seek anonymity. As a designated neutral, the Office of the Ombudsman does not represent or act as an advocate for any individual or entity, including FINRA. We advocate for fair processes and fair administration of those processes.
The Office of the Ombudsman will not voluntarily disclose information provided in confidence or the individual's identity, unless given permission to do so. However, if there is imminent risk of serious harm or a legal requirement to do so, we may disclose information as needed while taking reasonable steps to maintain confidentiality.
Who Can Best Assist Me?
Prior to contacting the Office of the Ombudsman, check the following options to determine who can best assist you.
Investor Complaint Portal (“ICP”)
Complaints about your brokerage firm, broker, or their employees.
FINRA will evaluate your complaint and may forward it to a different regulator if it is not within FINRA's jurisdiction.
Information about potentially fraudulent, illegal or unethical activity relating to financial services.
Tips can be submitted anonymously and will be treated in confidence to the fullest extent possible.
FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors ("HELPS")
Seniors with questions or concerns about their investment accounts or how to review portfolio or account statements
Concerns about the handling of a brokerage account.
FINRA Support Center
Inquiries about regulatory matters such as registration and disclosure requirements, form filings, entitlement to FINRA systems, investor education, qualifications exams, and continuing education programs.
Office of the Ombudsman
Concerns or complaints about FINRA.
Questions if you are unsure of the proper FINRA channel for addressing a concern, believe the issue cannot be resolved by other FINRA departments, or seek confidentiality or anonymity.
Contact the Office of the Ombudsman
Call: (888) 700-0028 or (240) 386-6270 | Monday-Friday, 9-5 ET (except holidays)
FINRA Office of the Ombudsman
9509 Key West Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
You can contact us anonymously or confidentially
Who We Are
Vice President and Ombudsman
As FINRA’s Ombudsman, Sarah Gill serves as an independent, neutral and confidential resource for investors, brokerage firms, individual brokers, FINRA staff and other stakeholders who have questions or concerns regarding activities of FINRA and its employees. She advocates for fair processes and the fair administration of FINRA’s processes.
FINRA’s Office of the Ombudsman team also includes
- case managers with extensive experience at FINRA and in the brokerage industry, who work directly with our constituents to address their questions or concerns
- an administrative assistant who is often the first person you will speak with; and connects our constituents with the case managers
- a data analyst
- a deputy ombudsman
Avoid Frauds & Scams
Many individuals contact the Office of the Ombudsman about fraudulent schemes. Some of the schemes are imposter scams that involve people fraudulently pretending to be FINRA staff in order to obtain account or other sensitive information. Others are advance fee schemes: investors are told they must pay a fee in advance to redeem their funds, but they never receive the promised funds. Unfortunately, many investors are subject to investment fraud, identity theft, and other scams. Please keep in mind that FINRA is a government-authorized not-for-profit organization that oversees the U.S. brokerage industry and would never ask investors for money.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Office of the Ombudsman’s mission?
Our mission is to provide a forum for investors, brokerage firms, registered investment professionals, and others who interact with FINRA to voice concerns of unfair practices or treatment. As an independent, neutral, and confidential source of assistance, the Office of the Ombudsman addresses complaints—whether anonymous or not—about operations, enforcement, or other activities of FINRA and its employees. We also answer questions and help people navigate FINRA.