What is FINRA?

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) describes itself as the largest independent regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. It was created in July of 2007 through the consolidation of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the enforcement arm of the New York Stock Exchange. The FINRA operates the largest arbitration forum for the resolution of disputes between its member firms and their customers. Most of the agreements between brokerage firms and investors include mandatory arbitration provisions, which require that any dispute be arbitrated before a FINRA panel.