The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) today announced that it has added features to BrokerCheck to help users more easily access broker-dealer and investment adviser registration information. Several changes implemented by FINRA address recommendations made in a January 2011 study by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).
With the latest improvements, users now have:
- centralized access to licensing and registration information on current and former brokers and brokerage firms, and investment adviser representatives and investment adviser firms;
- the ability to search for and locate a financial services professional based on main office and branch locations, and the ability to conduct ZIP code radius searches (in increments of 5, 15 or 25 miles); and
- access to expanded educational content available on BrokerCheck, including new help icons that clarify commonly referenced terms throughout the system and within BrokerCheck reports.
Derek Linden, FINRA Executive Vice President, Registration and Disclosure, said, "BrokerCheck is the go-to source for investors to find up-to-date accurate information about their broker or potential brokers. FINRA is constantly looking for new ways to make BrokerCheck easier to use and to make the information more accessible to investors."
In February 2012, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 12-10, soliciting comments on ways to facilitate and increase investor use of BrokerCheck. The comment period ended on April 27 and FINRA is currently reviewing the 71 comments received.
Investors can obtain more information about, and the disciplinary record of, any FINRA-registered broker or brokerage firm by using FINRA's BrokerCheck. FINRA makes BrokerCheck available at no charge. In 2011, members of the public used this service to conduct 14.2 million reviews of broker or firm records. Investors can access BrokerCheck at www.finra.org/brokercheck or by calling (800) 289-9999. Investors also may find copies of FINRA disciplinary actions in FINRA's Disciplinary Actions Online database.
FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. 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 all 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 firms. For more information, please visit www.finra.org.
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