FINRA Board Approves $50 Million Contribution to the FINRA Foundation
Contribution to Provide Ongoing Support for Research and Education Aimed at Improving the Financial Capability of Individuals and Families Nationwide
WASHINGTON—The Board of Governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) approved a $50,000,000 contribution to the FINRA Investor Education Foundation to provide continuing support for the Foundation’s innovative research and education efforts.
“When it comes to helping Americans improve their financial lives, FINRA and the Foundation are in it for the long haul,” said Lead Governor John J. Brennan. “Given FINRA's strong financial performance in 2014, the Board believes that directing a portion of enforcement fines to support the Foundation’s great work simply makes good sense—and aligns well with FINRA’s mission to protect investors.”
In combination with the contribution announced today, FINRA has allocated more than $100 million to the Foundation since 2004. In 2005, the Foundation received $55 million under the Global Research Analyst Settlement, which is required to be spent down by September 2015.
In collaboration with dedicated grantees and project partners, the Foundation has been delivering tangible benefits to individuals and families nationwide, including raising financial capability, for more than a decade. Among its accomplishments, detailed in the recent 10-year anniversary report titled Reach, Educate, Protect, the Foundation has benchmarked Americans’ financial knowledge and skills, helped investors avoid financial fraud and ensured that millions of young people are prepared for adult financial decisions. For example, the Foundation’s Military Financial Readiness Project has helped hundreds of military members and their families manage the personal finance challenges that come with a life dedicated to serving our country. And, in collaboration with on-base financial educators, the Foundation has provided free access to FICO® credit scores and education tools to more than 100,000 members of the military community.
The Foundation’s Investor Protection campaign aims to reduce the incidence of investment fraud, encouraging investors to deal only with licensed professionals and to check the background of professionals and products before investing. Working in partnership with regulators, law enforcement, crime prevention organizations and national and community nonprofits, the Foundation has reached tens of thousands of investors with tested fraud prevention strategies and has equipped key partners with resources to help potential targets spot, avoid and report fraud—and help victims deal with the aftermath of financial fraud.
Through its grantmaking, the Foundation supports important research and educational initiatives of national scope. In addition, Smart investing@your library®, a program jointly administered with the American Library Association, has empowered library patrons to make smart financial decisions, both for long-term investing and day-to-day money matters.
And Financial Education in Your Community, a program jointly administered with United Way Worldwide, has provided accurate, unbiased financial education for low- and moderate-income working adults.
The Foundation’s popular documentaries have achieved national distribution through American Public Television and reached tens of millions of consumers with essential investor protection messages. The most recent documentary, Thinking Money, explores why we spend and save (or don't), and how we think about money. The program is currently being broadcast on public television stations throughout the country.
The FINRA Foundation also sponsors the National Financial Capability Study, which benchmarks how individuals manage their resources and how they make financial decisions. Scholars and educators across the country use data from the study to examine the extent to which Americans plan ahead, compare financial products, make ends meet, and work through financial decisions of lasting consequence for themselves and their families.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services. FINRA touches virtually every aspect of the securities business—from registering and educating all industry participants to examining securities firms, writing rules, enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws, and informing and educating the investing public. In addition, FINRA provides surveillance and other regulatory services for equities and options markets, as well as trade reporting and other industry utilities. FINRA also administers the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and firms. For more information, please visit www.finra.org.