FINRA Fades to Clear: CEO Robert Cook’s Plan for Transparency

Law IACBy: La’ Nise Harrington Spring 2017 Student Intern

On January 10, 2017, Robert W. Cook, the CEO of FINRA, released comments entitled Remarks: SIFMA Compliance and Legal Society. The comments are a precursor to a Public Notice that will be asking for feedback surrounding FINRA’s transparency. Cook’s comments detail why transparency is important to FINRA and shows his commitment to it.

Cook believes that transparency increases engagement and accountability and credits FINRA’s self-regulatory nature for these attributes as it causes a greater collaboration of knowledge within the industry. Obviously transparency is important to FINRA, but you may be wondering: Why is FINRA transparency important to me?

A great example of why is FINRA’s current rulemaking process. It presently serves as FINRA’s testament to transparency. At times, FINRA rules receive more review than some government agencies’ rules. FINRA rules experience at least four rounds of evaluation including advisory committees, review by FINRA’s board, and public comments through not only FINRA, but the SEC too. FINRA’s rules are the background of how brokers and broker-dealers operate in their interactions with you. The rules may also support a potential claim if any of the rules are violated.

Therefore, it is vital to participate in any chance to share your views to FINRA. The Public Notice is an optimal opportunity to engage with FINRA on an individual level, and try to bring about any changes you may wish to see. Continue to be on the lookout on FINRA’s website for the Public Notice.  When it appears, please use your voice to advocate for any change you may want. It is needed and vital to FINRA.