Regulators: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority FINRA

 Prerequisite:   Before you complain to regulators

Country: United States of America
Country Common Nicknames: United States, USA, US
Big Bad Regulator, Long Name: The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
BBR, Short name: FINRA
Type: Self-Regulatory Organization, SEC approved
Main website homepage:
Regulatory licenses issued:

[Yes,  database listing of all stock broker dealers, along with industry professionals required to obtain training]

Complaints: yes, main complaint portal 
Do they do alerts? Yes, usually several times a monthTwitter
Do they ever eject a registered company? Yes
Do they ever fine a registered company? Yes.  Monthly disciplinary reports show regular 6+ figure fines and/or compensation amounts.
Do they ever directly or indirectly file criminal charges? No.  But they may refer cases to SEC for either fine orders or civil complaint
Do they ever mandate repayments to clients? Yes!
Contact info see below [keep reading until end]

 

FINRA is the self-regulatory organization (SRO) that is authorized by SEC to supervise the conduct of securities broker-dealers and crowd funding portals.  Basically FINRA is to the SEC what the NFA is to the CTFC.  So FINRA has a dual role of supervising brokers and developing best practices for the securities industry.  Lets briefly highlight what they do:

    • Write and enforce rules policing the ethical activities of all registered stock broker/broker-dealers brokers in the U.S. and US Territories;
    • Supervise firms for compliance with those rules;
    • Promote market transparency; and
    • Impart knowledge to investors.

In more pragmatic terms, FINRA Regulate over 600k securities brokerages in USA and US Territories. They accomplish this by using machine learning and other AI surveillance to analyze billions of daily transactions which I estimate represent a outstanding notional value of over $100 Trillion.  The also accept and investigate complaints from investors.  They also require that certain employees within each brokerage firm take qualifying examinations and submit to additional continuing education. 

Consider this summary of actions for FINRA in 2020:  They brought over 800 disciplinary actions against registered brokers and firms for unethical behavior.  They also levied over $50.0 million in fines and ordered over $25 million in restitution to harmed investors.  And whatever was outside of their scope, they referred more than 970 fraud and insider trading cases to the SEC and other agencies for litigation and/or prosecution.

The securities industry is pretty heavily regulated.     Note that this does not mean that scams do not exist.   Bernie Madoff should come to mind if anyone thinks they can escape the bs of the fx community.  I would argue border-line micromanaged:  FINRA also review all broker advertisements, websites, sales brochures and other communications to make sure brokers present information in a fair and balanced manner. Every year, FINRA reviews about 100,000 individual advertisements and communications from firms to investors.   CTFC has similar edicts where brokers are required to submit their main advertising brochures to NFA prior to publication.  And it must contain certain specific disclaimers.  

And it seems like at least every other week a firm is getting fined or sued by either FINMA, SEC, or both.  We mentioned earlier about FINRA issued over $75 million in combined fines and restitution orders.  Well their bigger brother, the SEC obtained judgements approaching $4 billion of combined disgorgement and penalties  And over 1/3 of the penalties seemed to be given to whistleblowers.  Imagine if something similar occurred with being able to get restitution for exposing fx firms.   I should be a billionaire at this point.

Finra Investor Education Foundation which serves as the educational non-profit portion who’s stated goal is to “empower underserved Americans with the knowledge, skills and tools to make sound financial decisions throughout life.”  Or in other words, they help poor and those without formal education to better understand how “complex” bullsh** contracts like securities and crowdfunding works for them and the larger society.   Make of that what you will; I do think it is worth a look.   

#RegulatedFool

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Remember to study the  Before you complain to regulators  guide before reaching out. 
Contact emails finrainvestoreducation@finra.org
Contact form https://tools.finra.org/cc_support/
Contact list: https://www.finra.org/investors/investor-contacts
Additional contacts Read below
 Washington D.C. [Main headquarters] FINRA
1735 K Street, NW 
Washington, DC 20006 
301-590-6500
Regional offices https://www.finra.org/about/locations
Senior Citizen dedicated hotline 844-57-HELPS (844-574-3577)
Monday – Friday
9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Eastern Time  [website]
 
FINRA law authority SEC Press release 2007-151  |  SEC Commissioner’s order 34-56145 authorizing NASD + NYSE sro merger into FINRA
Research companies BrokerCheck  [hotline: (800) 289-9999] | FINRA disciplinary actionsIndividuals Barred by FINRA  |  SEC Action Lookup Individual (SALI)  |  Public Alert: Unregistered Soliciting Entities (PAUSE)  |  State Securities Regulator (NASAA)  
Complaint against broker Complaints homepage  |  General Tips (no whistleblowing)  |  Formal Complaint  |  Arbitration  |  MediationSecurities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC)
Ombudsman?   Ombudsman   
Investor resources Tools / Calculators  |  Types of Investments  |  Arbitration Awards history  |  ConEmIfYouCan  |  FINRA Foundation   |  
Key pamphlets  FINRA Investor Complaint Brochure [local copy] |  Fighting Fraud 101  [local copy]  |
 
 

Author Profile

4EverMaAT

4EverMaAT

4EverMaAT started trading derivatives since he was 18 years old, and found his way into forex over a decade ago and started developing automated trading systems to assist his leap into professional trading. This includes creating the worlds first (and only?) true coincident trend indicator: APAMI (Awesome/Amazing Price Action Measurement Indicator). No lag, no averaging. Just complex, measured price action made simple. Find out more at AwarenessForex.com.

MaAT is an ancient Kemetic phrase that translates to "Truth, reciprocity, balance". Obviously when a company or trader tries to scam their client/business partner out of money, this upsets the natural balance that exists when contracts are formed and traded. But the best way forward is not to be a helpless victim, but to ensure that you are informed with whom you are trading with. And more importantly, whom you are trusting your hard earned dollars with.

4EverMaAT couldn't help but notice that the scams that most people fall for are very similar day by day, month over month, and year after year. MaAT believes that less people would fall for scams if only they took some more responsibility for their own trading choices. This ultimately means resisting one's own gambling impulse and gathering hard evidence (video, screenshot, trading history, etc) of all relevant trading activity. And consolidating this evidence so that it creates a clear, concise timeline of events. More details are related at upcoming blog RegulatedFool.com

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