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Regulatory Operations Update

FINRA remains fully operational during the COVID-19 outbreak through the support of our robust remote work capabilities, and we continue to carry out our regulatory responsibilities of protecting investors and market integrity in these challenging times.

Just as we are adjusting our operations, we likewise recognize that many of FINRA’s member firms must make significant adjustments to adapt to the current environment, including to comply with governmental restrictions on travel or to otherwise move staff to remote work in order to protect their health and safety.  We also understand that firms must prioritize resources to respond to and protect their investor clients amidst unprecedented market turmoil.

With these challenges in mind, FINRA is focusing its regulatory operations in order to best fulfill our mission in light of ongoing conditions.

  • FINRA continues to execute its ongoing and robust risk monitoring , market surveillance and enforcement programs, prioritizing matters that present the most risk in this current environment.  
  • In addition, during this time, FINRA is focusing in particular on monitoring for fraud, illicit schemes, and other manipulative activities seeking to take advantage of the tumultuous conditions created by COVID-19 and ongoing market volatility.  We ask that member firms remain vigilant, and promptly make us aware of any suspect activity they may identify.
  • As a result of the current environment’s impact on the ongoing financial operations and business continuity processes of our member firms, FINRA will continue to engage in regular communications with many firms, and in some cases will make targeted requests for information regarding financial and operational capabilities, among other matters.  We also ask that you continue to communicate with your respective Risk Monitoring Analysts and keep them apprised of any specific challenges your firms may be facing. We encourage this open dialogue so that we can better work with member firms on how to address these issues, and also because it helps FINRA identify challenges that may be systemic for which broader guidance or relief may be appropriate.
  • In March, FINRA temporarily paused new requests for information to give firms an opportunity to acclimate to the challenges posed by the COVID-19 situation. FINRA has since resumed regulatory inquires, including in connection with cycle examinations, but will continue to take under consideration the circumstances at individual firms, where appropriate.
  • FINRA will continue to provide guidance and targeted relief to member firms in meeting their regulatory obligations in the current environment.  Firms that are unable to respond to FINRA requests for information or to meet other regulatory deadlines in a timely manner are encouraged to contact the relevant FINRA personnel.

FINRA is committed to working with our member firms to ensure FINRA can safeguard investors and markets in a manner consistent with protecting the health and safety of member firm employees and their broader communities.  We continue to monitor developments closely, and we will adjust our programs further as circumstances warrant.