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Guidance

We offer guidance to firms in the form of podcasts, webinars, FAQs, reports, and more. Use the toggle below to find guidance by topic, type or date. 

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Guidance
2019 Report on Examination Findings and Observations
October 16, 2019
Guidance

While many firms have made significant improvements in their cybersecurity programs, cybersecurity attacks continue to increase in both number and level of sophistication. FINRA notes that such attacks often take advantage of and highlight weaknesses in a firm’s cybersecurity program.

October 16, 2019
Guidance

Introduction

In both 2017 and 2018, FINRA issued Reports on Examination Findings in response to firms’ requests that we make publicly available a summary of key findings from FINRA’s examinations of member firms. Firms use this information, as well as effective practices observed by FINRA at certain firms, to anticipate potential areas of concern and improve their procedures and controls.

October 16, 2019
Podcast
Soon brokerage firms will have to comply with a new standard of conduct when working with retail clients with the implementation of Regulation Best Interest. What is the new standard? What will firms need to do to comply? Tune in to learn more from FINRA’s Chief Legal Officer.
October 15, 2019
Board of Governors Meeting
FINRA CEO Robert Cook and members of the FINRA Board of Governors provide updates from the September 2019 FINRA Board of Governors meeting.
October 03, 2019
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. 
October 02, 2019
Podcast
What happens if a brokerage firm doesn’t report trading information appropriately? At first, it might seem like it isn’t a big deal – just a data issue. But is vital. Accurate market data is at the foundation of FINRA’s efforts to ensure the integrity of our markets.
October 01, 2019
Guidance

FINRA is issuing this Notice to remind member firms of their supervisory obligations under FINRA Rules 3110 (Supervision) and 3120 (Supervisory Control System) if they hold or transact in customer accounts owned by municipal entities or obligated persons (municipal clients), as defined in Section 15B of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act), and participate in investment-related activities with municipal clients, such as recommending or selling non-municipal securities products to such municipal clients.

August 16, 2019
Guidance
What does it take to receive credit for extraordinary cooperation when it comes to FINRA Enforcement actions? What does extraordinary even mean in that context? On this episode, we dig into updated guidance on this topic with FINRA’s head of Enforcement.
August 06, 2019
Get Involved
The FINRA Board of Governors meets this week in Washington, DC. Read President and CEO Robert Cook’s email to firms previewing the agenda.
July 16, 2019
Guidance
This reference guide covers a range of private placement topics, from the basic question of "What is a private offering?" to more technical discussions on broker-dealer compliance with FINRA's private placement rules.
July 16, 2019
Guidance

Summary

FINRA is issuing this Notice to restate and supplement prior guidance regarding the circumstances under which a firm or individual may influence the outcome of an investigation by demonstrating extraordinary cooperation. This Notice incorporates FINRA’s prior guidance and provides clarification and additional information about how FINRA assesses whether a potential respondent’s cooperation is “extraordinary” and distinct from the level of cooperation expected of all member firms and their associated persons. 

July 11, 2019
A Few Minutes With FINRA
FINRA Executive Vice President and Head of Enforcement Susan Schroeder sits down with Senior Vice President of Member Relations and Education Chip Jones to discuss new guidance on credit for extraordinary cooperation in investigations, as described in Regulatory Notice 19-23. (7 min. 11 sec.)
July 11, 2019
Guidance

This article highlights some of the common cybersecurity threats faced by broker-dealers. In a number of cases, FINRA has observed that different types of attacks were coordinated and overlapped.

July 09, 2019
Podcast
This episode originally aired in July 2018. What do physicists and financial industry regulators have in common? More than you'd think. On this episode, we sit down with Tom Gira, head of FINRA’s Market Regulation and Transparency Services group, to learn not just how the cloud and machine learning have fundamentally improved FINRA's ability to regulate markets, but also what we've been learning from physicists along the way.
June 25, 2019
Podcast
FINRA is in the middle of a wide-ranging, multi-year effort to revolutionize the digital experience of FINRA member firms. It’s a transformation driven by firms for firms. On this episode, we learn how the project will simplify the user experience, increase flexibility and automation when it comes to user-defined access to FINRA data and more.
June 11, 2019
Interpretive Letter
Equity Securities as Compensation for Capital Acquisition Brokers
May 30, 2019
Podcast
The world of money laundering is a fast-paced and ever evolving, which can make it difficult for a financial firm to develop and maintain a strong anti-money laundering program. On this episode, two FINRA anti-money laundering experts discuss current priorities and best practices when it comes to AML regulation.
May 14, 2019
Communications to Firms
Read President and CEO Robert Cook’s post-meeting email to firms highlighting the May 2019 FINRA Board of Governors meeting.
May 14, 2019
About FINRA

FINRA is a not-for-profit, self-regulatory organization (SRO) dedicated to promoting investor protection and market integrity in a manner that facilitates vibrant capital markets. One of FINRA’s tools for achieving this objective is fair and effective enforcement of our member firms’ compliance with securities laws and regulations.

April 26, 2019
FAQ

FINRA is providing these Frequently Asked Questions about its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative (the “Initiative”) in response to a number of inquiries it has received from firms and trade associations. In order to allow firms sufficient time to consider the additional information provided here and to provide firms more time to review their supervisory systems and procedures with respect to 529 plan sales, FINRA is extending the due dates set forth in Regulatory Notice 19-04.

March 05, 2019
A Few Minutes With FINRA
In a follow up to a recent episode of A Few Minutes With FINRA, FINRA Executive Vice President of Enforcement Susan Schroeder answers questions FINRA has received from firms in response to its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative. (11 min. 58 sec.)
February 27, 2019
Guidance
Effective Feb. 3, 2020, FIX will be the only protocol supported for reporting trades to FINRA's TRACE and ORF platforms.
February 13, 2019
Interpretive Letter
A member firm may include pre-inception index performance data in institutional communications concerning registered open-end investment companies, subject to the stated conditions discussed in the letter.
January 31, 2019