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Small Firms Information

FINRA has created this page to provide information for the small firm community—those firms with 150 or fewer registered financial professionals. This page contains current and past communications, links of interest to small firms, and other information.


August 4, 2020

The Small Firm Conference Call: FINRA Update – Recent Rule Changes and Guidance Recording

FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook and Vice President and Deputy of Member Relations and Education Kayte Toczylowski were joined by FINRA senior staff to discuss recent updates, including the new FAQ about exemption reporting under SEA Rule 15c3-3, how to adjust supervisory systems to a remote work environment, and recent guidance on retail communications concerning private placement offerings. Register for access.


September 4, 2020

FINRA Gateway, Feature Highlight: Dynamic Reporting 101

This webinar highlights FINRA Gateway's Dynamic Reporting. Dynamic Reporting gives you direct access to your organization's data so you can get immediate answers to common questions. Dynamic Reporting was developed in direct response to customer requests for a more flexible reporting tool. This webinar will provide a walk-through of Dynamic Reporting features and helpful resources to reference when using Dynamic Reporting on your own. 

THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, 2—3 P.M. EASTERN TIME


FINRA Systems Webinar Resources Now Available

FINRA offers several webinars about ongoing technology enhancements. Additional dates will be announced later this summer. Resources, including recordings, from previous webinar sessions are now available on the pages below.

Webinar

Enhanced U4 Online Filing Experience

Learn about the Form U4 online filing experience that will launch this fall in FINRA Gateway.

Leveraging FinPro for Streamlined Compliance

This webinar demonstrates the benefits of the growing suite of compliance tools available in Financial Professional Gateway (FinPro).

Move Over, Firm Gateway; FINRA Gateway is Coming Soon

This webinar introduces the new FINRA reporting and compliance user experience that will roll out over the coming months.

Moving From CRD to the New FINRA Gateway

This webinar discusses the transition of CRD tools to the new FINRA Gateway. It will include several real-work scenarios demonstrating how to perform registration compliance tasks through the FINRA Gateway. Information about the FINRA Gateway pilot and feedback will also be discussed, and time will be allotted at the end of the webinar for a Q&A.


May 20, 2020

The Small Firm Conference Call: Updates and Implications of COVID-19 - Recordings

FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook and Senior Vice President of Member Relations and Education Chip Jones were joined by FINRA senior staff to discuss COVID-19 updates and implications for FINRA member firms. Register for access.


February 11, 2020

CAT Small Firm Onboarding Checklist

Is your firm a broker-dealer that is a member of FINRA or a national securities exchange, and receives, originates and/or handles orders in “CAT Eligible Securities”, which includes NMS stocks and Listed Options, and/or OTC Equity Securities? 

If the answer to this question is yes, then your firm has a Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) reporting obligation and must register for and obtain access to CAT and prepare for reporting even if your firm plans to rely on a vendor or clearing firm to report equity and/or option transactions on its behalf. There are no exemptions to CAT reporting, unlike OATS. If your firm handles even ONE order in NMS stocks and Listed Options and/or OTC Securities all of the steps on the following checklist apply. 

Broker-Dealers – Small Firm CAT Set-up and System Testing Completion Deadlines: 

  • Before April 20, 2020 – Small Industry Members1 currently reporting to OATS. 
  • Before December 2021 -- Small Industry Members not currently reporting to OATS. 

If you are unsure if any of the steps apply to your firm, please direct your questions to the FINRA CAT Helpdesk at 888-696-3348 or [email protected]. For more detailed information, please refer to the FINRA CAT Industry Member Onboarding Guide.


January 28, 2020

2020 Annual Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

Each year FINRA publishes it’s risk monitoring and examination priorities to highlight significant risks and issues that could adversely affect investors and market integrity in the coming year.


October 18, 2019

The Small Firm Conference Call: SEC’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI)

Tuesday, October 8, 2019
3 p.m. ET

The Small Firm Conference Call took place on October 8, 2019. FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook and Senior Vice President of Member Relations & Education Chip Jones was joined by Executive Vice President and Chief Legal Officer Bob Colby and Vice President and Associate General Counsel Jim Wrona to discuss the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI). Register for access.


September 9, 2019

The Small Firm Conference Call: Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) – Audio Recording

Monday, August 12, 2019
3 p.m. ET

The Small Firm Conference Call took place on August 12, 2019. FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook was joined by Senior Vice President of Member Relations and Education Chip Jones, Vice President Dave Chapman, as well as Senior Director, CAT Business Operations, FINRA CAT, LLC Paul McKenney, to discuss current progress and reporting obligations for the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT). Register for access.


May 8, 2019

Core Cybersecurity Controls for Small Firms

FINRA developed a Core Cybersecurity Controls for Small Firms - AC Flier list to help small firms in establishing an effective cybersecurity program.


March 22, 2019

Preferred Pricing Program: Information Archive Services

The FINRA Preferred Pricing Program is an online directory of vendors that offer discounted pricing on a variety of Information Archiving Services.


March 6, 2019

Small Firm Report: FINRA’s 529 Plan Share Class Initiative – Audio Recording

Small firms represent a critical portion of FINRA’s membership and often face regulatory challenges that are unique from their large firm counterparts. In an effort to provide additional compliance education, FINRA launched The Small Firm Report, a series of free conference calls featuring senior FINRA leaders who discuss trending topics, new rules and regulatory guidance and best practices.

Our fourth Small Firm Report took place on Wednesday, February 20. FINRA President and Chief Executive Officer Robert Cook, was joined by Senior Vice President of Member Relations and Education Chip Jones and Executive Vice President of Enforcement Susan Schroeder to discuss FINRA’s 529 Plan Share Class Initiative.

A recording of the call is now available to FINRA member firms.

Register for Access


2018 Report on FINRA Examination Findings

FINRA published its second annual report detailing observations from recent exams of firms.


December 20, 2018

Report on Selected Cybersecurity Practices – 2018

Report on Selected Cybersecurity Practices – 2018 is a detailed review of effective information-security controls at securities firms. The report is designed to help broker-dealers – including small firms – further develop their cybersecurity programs. The report addresses areas that firms tend to find most challenging: cybersecurity controls in branch offices; methods of limiting phishing attacks; identifying and mitigating insider threats; elements of a strong penetration-testing program; and establishing and maintaining controls on mobile devices.


December 18, 2018

The Small Firm Report

Our third Small Firm Report took place on Tuesday, November 27. FINRA Chief Executive Officer Robert Cook, was joined by Senior Vice President of Member Relations and Education Chip Jones, Senior Vice President of Investor Education Gerri Walsh and Senior Director of Advertising Regulation Amy Sochard to discuss:

  • New Research on Millennial Investors and Implication for Industry
  • Digital Communications and Social Media Compliance

A recording of the call is now available to FINRA member firms. Register for access.


October 1, 2018

Materials from the SIE Exam and Exam Restructuring Calls

FINRA's Registration and Disclosure Department is holding a series of conference calls to discuss the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, the restructure of representative-level qualification exams, and the consolidation of registration rules that took effect October 1, 2018.


August 20, 2018

Small Firm Report – Audio Recording

Small firms represent a critical portion of FINRA’s membership and often face regulatory challenges that are unique from their large firm counterparts. In an effort to provide additional compliance education, FINRA launched The Small Firm Report, a series of free conference calls featuring senior FINRA leaders who discuss trending topics, new rules and regulatory guidance and best practices.

View more details, including how to register.


May 1, 2018

Capital Acquisition Broker Written Supervisory Procedures Checklist

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 360 Progress Report

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

Investor Education: Protecting Seniors from Financial Exploitation

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.


May 23, 2016

Small Firm Cybersecurity Checklist

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.


Other Announcements


Quarterly Disciplinary Review

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.


FINRA Rule Filing Status Report

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.

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