June 23, 2014

Ombuds for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Publishes First Annual Report

A report from FINRAs Office of the Ombudsman describes its role within the non-governmental organization which regulates U.S. brokerage firms and exchange markets, and summarizes the cases and issues received during 2013. 
FINRA Ombudsperson Cindy Foster explains the work of her office:
As a designated neutral, the role of the Ombudsman is to provide confidential and informal assistance to FINRA’s constituents. The Ombudsman does not advocate for any individual or organization—including FINRA—rather, the Ombudsman advocates for fair processes. The Ombudsman acts as a source of information and referral, and assists in answering questions and resolving concerns. We also help our constituents address their concerns in the most constructive manner and at the most appropriate level within the organization.

In 2013, the FINRA Ombuds Office opened 567 cases. Individual brokers accounted for 194 (34%) of those cases, while public investors accounted for 174 cases (31%). The remaining cases were from firms, attorneys, FINRA employees, public companies, anonymous individuals and other miscellaneous individuals.

The FINRA Ombuds Office was established in 2006 and has four Ombuds, including also Mariann Miller and Thomas McCormack. (FINRA Ombuds 2013 Report; LinkedIn Miller, McCormack.)

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