Skip to main content

Initiate an Arbitration or Mediation

Arbitrations and mediations of securities and business disputes may be initiated through FINRA. They are two distinct ways of resolving disputes between and among investors, brokerage firms and individual brokers.

Initiate an Arbitration

The arbitration process begins with a party, such as an investor, filing a Statement of Claim and other documents with FINRA. The Statement of Claim includes a description of the dispute, the parties involved and the amount of money sought. This is the first chance for an investor to explain clearly the events pertaining to the dispute in chronological order. It is important to provide any documents mentioned in the statement that support the claim.

FINRA also requires the filing of a Submission Agreement as part of the initial step in the arbitration process. This agreement lists the parties in the arbitration case and confirms that FINRA is to be the administrator. It also establishes that if the case ends with a hearing, the parties agree to abide by the arbitrators’ decision. FINRA requires that the claimant, the person who files the claim, submit the appropriate fees to start the proceeding.

Once the filing requirements are met, FINRA will serve the Statement of Claim on the respondents identified in it. FINRA also analyzes the claim, looking for things like the size of the claim, to decide how many arbitrators will be needed, the nature of the dispute and the type of securities involved.

Learn how to file a claim for arbitration, and find the appropriate forms. You can file a claim either online or by mail.

Initiate a Mediation

Mediation offers an alternative to arbitration. A trained, impartial mediator facilitates negotiations between disputing parties, helping them to find a mutually acceptable resolution to the dispute. If you’re involved in an arbitration case, you can request a mediation at any time before the arbitrators issue an award.

To mediate through FINRA, one or both parties may file a Request for Mediation. FINRA will contact the other party or parties to determine their interest, explain the mediation process and seek their agreement to mediate. If the parties agree to mediation, FINRA’s mediation administrators can assist in the selection of a mediator. The parties have full say in and must agree on who is selected as the mediator.

Once the parties agree on a mediator, FINRA staff sends each party a Mediation Submission Agreement that indicates the terms for the mediation. All parties, their representatives and the mediator must sign it before the mediation can take place. The agreement is designed to protect the parties involved and prevent any misunderstanding about the process.

Learn how to request a mediation, and find the required forms. You submit a mediation request either online or by mail.