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What We Do




 

FINRA plays a critical role in ensuring the integrity of America’s financial system—all at no cost to taxpayers.
Working under the supervision of the Securities and Exchange Commission, we:

  • Write and enforce rules governing the ethical activities of all registered broker-dealer firms and registered brokers in the U.S.;
  • Examine firms for compliance with those rules;
  • Foster market transparency; and
  • Educate investors.

We undertake these efforts to protect the investing public against fraud and bad practices. Consider the case of the 77-year-old blind widow, who was victimized just a few weeks after her husband passed away. She had completely relied on her broker to manage her accounts, given her own severely debilitated condition---but her broker took advantage of her. The broker placed more than 700 trades in more than 200 different securities, causing the blind widow to lose about $184,000.

But FINRA stepped in to make things right. We charged the broker with securities fraud for churning the widow’s account and for excessive and unsuitable trading in her account. We were glad to make a difference in this woman’s life.

Learn more about our Five Steps to Protecting Marketing Integrity.
 

Our Impact: By the Numbers

In 2018, FINRA:

  • Brought 921 disciplinary actions against registered brokers and firms for unethical behavior.
  • Levied $61 million in fines
  • Ordered $25.5 million in restitution to harmed investors. 
  • Referred more than 900 fraud and insider trading cases to the SEC and other agencies for litigation and/or prosecution.
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