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Advancing Market Regulation and Transparency

A key component of our mission to protect investors and ensure market integrity is to perform effective oversight of securities markets. FINRA, working closely with the SEC and the securities exchanges, plays a central role in conducting ongoing oversight within and across markets, monitoring for misconduct and intervening promptly when we find it.
Advancing Market Regulation and Transparency

FINRA surveils the markets for suspicious activity such as manipulation and other types of fraud. We conduct market surveillance on all listed and over-the-counter equities as well as listed options. In addition, FINRA provides regulatory services such as market surveillance, compliance examinations and enforcement to 24 self-regulatory organizations. We oversee compliance with FINRA rules and federal securities laws through examinations and by leveraging an innovative market surveillance program. Our surveillance looks for abusive activity by tracking orders from the moment they are placed by a customer, through their journey in the markets, until those orders are ultimately executed. When potentially suspicious activity triggers alerts, we further analyze them and then, if appropriate, move forward with a formal examination or enforcement action.

FINRA also has a long history of bringing transparency to the equity and bond markets to help investors make informed investment decisions. We operate facilities that create the foundation of the regulatory audit trail and provide investors with timely quote and trade information on equity and debt securities. These facilities include TRACE® (the Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine); the Alternate Display Facility®; the Trade Reporting Facilities® and the Over-the-Counter Reporting Facility®.   

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Blog Post
For 20 years, FINRA’s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine, known as TRACE, has contributed to reduced trade execution costs, facilitated price formation, aided regulatory programs and protected investors, as detailed in a recent blog commemorating this milestone anniversary. As an economist, I’d argue TRACE’s impact extends. For me, some of the real impact is in the research it has enabled.
Blog Post
This Friday – July 1, 2022 – will mark the 20th anniversary of FINRA’s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine, known as TRACE to everyone in the fixed income industry and regulatory community. TRACE is FINRA’s real-time, over-the-counter price dissemination service for the fixed-income market, bringing transparency to the debt markets, including corporate and agency debt as well as asset- and mortgage-backed securities. This milestone provides occasion to reflect on the history, impact and future of this pioneering platform – in fact, there is much on which to reflect:
Media Center
We are celebrating 100 episodes of FINRA Unscripted. We’ve covered a lot of ground over the past 4 years and 100 episodes and today we are taking a trip back in time to revisit some of our greatest hits.
Media Center
The majority of FINRA’s market manipulation surveillance patterns now use deep learning to detect misconduct in what is perhaps in what is perhaps the largest application of artificial intelligence in the RegTech space. On this episode, we hear how this is making FINRA’s market surveillance data more digestible and increasing the efficiency and flexibility of the program.
Media Center
Transparency plays a central role in promoting the fairness and efficiency of U.S. markets, lowering transaction costs, leveling the playing field and enhancing public trust in our markets. And the data market transparency provides serves as the lifeblood of FINRA's surveillance program. On this episode, we hear about FINRA's historical commitment to market transparency and how it has impacted FINRA's regulatory regime.
In March, Stephanie Dumont became the new Executive Vice President of FINRA’s Market Regulation and Transparency Services department. On this episode, we sit down with Stephanie to hear her priorities, her vision for the department, and how FINRA is responding to recent market events.
Report / Study
FINRA regulates a critical part of the securities industry – brokerage firms doing business with the public in the United States. In an effort to increase public awareness and understanding about the broad range of FINRA-registered firms and individuals, FINRA shares an annual snapshot of some of the data collected in the course of its work.
News Release
Statistical Overview of Brokerage Firms, Registered Representatives and Trading Activity WASHINGTON—FINRA today published the 2021 FINRA Industry Snapshot, its annual statistical report on the brokerage firms, registered representatives and market activity that FINRA regulates.
Speech / Testimony
Chairwoman Waters, Ranking Member McHenry and Members of the Committee: Introduction
News Release
WASHINGTON – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced today that it has barred former Goldman Sachs & Co. research analyst Brian Maguire for twice purchasing securities after he learned a fellow analyst was upgrading his recommendation in impending research reports and for lying to FINRA staff about his trading.

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