Small Firms Information

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

April 3, 2018

The Small Firm Report Kickoff Call

Tuesday, April 24, 2018
4:00 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. ET

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 is launching The Small Firm Report, a series of free conference calls featuring senior FINRA leaders who will discuss trending topics, new rules and regulatory guidance, and best practices.

Registration is now open for our inaugural call which will be held on Tuesday, April 24. CEO Robert Cook will outline changes that are underway to enhance and streamline FINRA’s exam programs. VP Jim Wrona will discuss key requirements and findings related to outside business activity (OBA) rules and private securities transactions (PST), as well as offer an update on the new senior rule. This event is open to all small firm members. There are limited lines available, so please register as soon as possible.

February 15, 2018

FINRA’s 2018 Annual Conference

May 21 – 23, 2018 | Washington, DC
FINRA’s 2018 Annual Conference brings together leaders of firms of all sizes, securities attorneys, government officials, FINRA senior leaders and representatives from other securities regulators for a three-day event to discuss regulatory priorities and practical compliance solutions. Register early to reserve your seat and take advantage of the flat discounted rate of $595 for small firm in-person attendees.

January 9, 2018

2018 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter

Each year FINRA publishes its regulatory and exam priorities to highlight significant risks and issues that could adversely affect investors and market integrity in the coming year.

January 9, 2018

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding FINRA Rules Relating to Financial Exploitation of Seniors

FINRA has published a set of frequently asked questions on FINRA's rules relating to financial exploitation of seniors. The rules become effective February 5. New FINRA Rule 2165 (Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults) permits members to place temporary holds on disbursements of funds or securities from the accounts of specified customers where there is a reasonable belief of financial exploitation of these customers. Amendments to FINRA Rule 4512 (Customer Account Information) require members to make reasonable efforts to obtain the name of and contact information for a trusted contact person for a customer's account.

January 2, 2018

2018 FINRA Small Firm Conference - Registration Open

FINRA's Small Firm Conference focuses on small firms' practices and tips for complying with FINRA rules. Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to discuss small firm issues with FINRA senior staff.

The conference is scheduled for November 7 – 8, 2018, in Santa Monica, CA. Register today.

Now Available: On Demand Sessions From FINRA’s 2017 Small Firm Conference

Free recordings of all sessions from FINRA’s 2017 Small Firm Conference are now available to member firms and CRCP graduates. Visit the Small Firm Conference page to the recordings.

December 13, 2017

On Demand Sessions From FINRA's 2017 Advertising Regulation Conference

Free recordings of all sessions from FINRA's 2017 Advertising Regulation Conference are now available to member firms and CRCP graduates. Visit the Advertising Regulation conference page to view the recordings.

December 6, 2017

Report on FINRA Examination Findings

In response to requests from firms to make available a summary of observations from FINRA cycle examinations, FINRA published a Report on Examination Findings. The report, a key outcome of the FINRA360 initiative and CEO Robert Cook's listening tour, consolidates select observations from recent examinations that FINRA considers worth highlighting due to their potential impacts on investors and the markets, or the frequency with which they occur, and describes certain practices FINRA has observed to be effective in certain circumstances. The report includes a summary of additional observations to draw firms' attention to areas where operational deficiencies have challenged some firms' ability to meet their compliance obligations. The report allows firms to improve their compliance functions based on the experiences of other firms, and to better anticipate potential areas of concern before their own cycle examinations.

Read the Report on FINRA Examination Findings.

New Compliance Resources for Firms

Two new compliance resources, the FINRA Compliance Vendor Directory (CVD) and the FINRA Compliance Calendar, were recently added to the home page of Firm Gateway.

The CVD was developed to provide firms with more options when searching for vendors that offer compliance-related products and services. Current vendor categories include Compliance Consulting, Cybersecurity, Data Management, Email & Social Media Archive, Exam Prep & Firm CE, Insurance Brokers, Monitoring, PCAOB-Registered Accountants, and Registration services.

The FINRA Compliance Calendar provides firms with a calendar view of upcoming required filings, a schedule of live educational opportunities and events, and significant deadlines.

For more information about any of FINRA’s compliance tools and resources, email FINRA Member Relations and Education.

April 25, 2017

A Few Minutes With FINRA

A Few Minutes With FINRA are brief video segments in which senior FINRA staff discuss timely regulatory topics and respond to comments from firms on specific areas of concern. Watch the latest installments on:

November 16, 2016

Relief Provided to Broker-Dealers on Accounting for Operating Leases

The Division of Trading and Markets of the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a no-action letter on November 8, 2016, to provide limited relief from the negative impact on net capital, which would have resulted from a recently adopted Financial Accounting Standards Board’s (FASB) standard. The standard, and the relief provided, are discussed in the referenced no-action letter.

November 16, 2016

FINRA Rule 2273 Resources

Representatives who leave their firms often contact former customers and emphasize the benefits the former customers would experience by transferring their assets to the firm that recruited the registered representative (recruiting firm) and maintaining their relationship with the representative. FINRA Rule 2273 requires the recruiting firm to deliver to those customers a FINRA-created Educational Communication that highlights key considerations in transferring assets to the recruiting firm, and the direct and indirect impacts of such a transfer on those assets. The rule went into effect on November 11, 2016. Please visit the Broker-Dealer Recruitment Disclosures: Complying with FINRA Rule 2273 page for more information and FAQ.

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.