About the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. All told, FINRA oversees nearly 4,750 brokerage firms, about 167,000 branch offices and approximately 634,000 registered securities representatives.
Created in July 2007 through the consolidation of NASD and the member regulation, enforcement and arbitration functions of the New York Stock Exchange, 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 industry participants to examining securities firms; writing rules; enforcing those rules and the federal securities laws; informing and educating the investing public; providing trade reporting and other industry utilities; and administering the largest dispute resolution forum for investors and registered firms. It also performs market regulation under contract for The NASDAQ Stock Market, the American Stock Exchange, the International Securities Exchange and the Chicago Climate Exchange.
FINRA has approximately 2,800 employees and operates from Washington, DC, and New York, NY, with 15 District Offices around the country.
FINRA believes investor protection begins with education. Using the Internet, the media and public forums, we help investors build their financial knowledge and provide them with essential tools to better understand the markets and basic principles of saving and investing. In addition, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the U.S. dedicated to investor education. As of April 2009, the Foundation had approved approximately $46 million in investor education and protection initiatives through a combination of grants and targeted projects.
In today's fast-paced and complex global economy, FINRA is a trusted advocate for investors, dedicated to keeping the markets fair, ensuring investor choice and proactively addressing emerging regulatory issues before they harm investors or the markets.
source (retrieved Mar 11, 2010): www.finra.org/AboutFINRA/index.htm