The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority plans to release in March a “progress report” summarizing the steps the self-regulator has taken under its FINRA360 initiative as well a “further discussion” on the enhanced examination framework the regulator adopted for 2018, Robert Cook, FINRA’s CEO, said Tuesday.
FINRA will also continue to assess this year whether to consolidate its current three exam programs into one, and “we’ll be making a decision this year” on how to proceed, Cook said during a question-and-answer session at the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association’s compliance and legal conference in Orlando, Florida.
As Cook has stated previously, some of the exam programs at FINRA were “never fully merged” after FINRA was created in 2007 from the consolidation of the member regulatory functions of the National Association of Securities Dealers and the New York Stock Exchange.
“There’s a lot more to come on FINRA360,” Cook said during the Tuesday morning Q & A session with SIFMA General Counsel Ira Hammerman.
Cook launched the FINRA360 initiative, a top-to-bottom review of the regulatory organization, last year. Wednesday marks the initiative’s one-year anniversary.
As to the enhanced exam framework that the broker-dealer regulator has adopted for this year, Cook said that “it’s yet another step to make sure that our exams are more risk-based.” FINRA, he said, is still examining every firm on a “four-year backstop basis, but [the SRO] is moving away from designating firms as one-, two-, three- or four-year cycle firms.” Instead, FINRA is focusing on “are they a this-year firm or not based on their risk profile.”
The progress report will also detail “a bunch of process improvements that we’ve decided that we could roll out this year,” as well as actions taken under FINRA’s innovation outreach initiative, changes to FINRA’s committee structures and district committees.