The total number of broker-dealers registered with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority dropped to 3,607 in 2018 from 4,067 in 2014, with FINRA losing 119 firms from 2017 to 2018, according to FINRA’s just-released second annual statistical report.
Firms that are broker-dealer only and regulated by FINRA stand at 334,860, while the number of dual BDs that are also investment advisor reps and also overseen by the states total 294,684.
Brad Bennett, former head of FINRA enforcement, told ThinkAdvisor Wednesday that the report “is further evidence of the decline of the broker-dealer model and highlights the challenge FINRA faces as the result of the decline of securities industry activity within its current jurisdiction.”
Also, Bennett added, “the major firms’ decision to exit the broker transfer protocol agreement appears to have significantly reduced the movement of brokers between firms.”
Five states hold the vast majority of firms — California (998), Connecticut (405), Florida (696), Illinois (643) and New York (1,596).