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Finra abandons effort to become RIA regulator

Finra chairman and CEO Richard G. Ketchum said the regulator is no longer interested in expanding its oversight to financial advisers.  Mr. Ketchum told the Wall Street Journal on Thursday, “We are not pursuing it at the present time.”

“We don’t perceive any likelihood that it would be successful,” Mr. Ketchum told the WSJ, referring to the regulator’s efforts, which began in 2012 when it made a strong push for congressional approval of a bill that would shift financial adviser oversight.

Advisers resisted the legislation, fearing that Finra, an industry-funded regulator, would fill the role and the measure died. Finra backed down when the new Congress convened last year and the champion of the SRO bill, Rep. Spencer Bachus, R-Ala., relinquished his seat as chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.

Mr. Ketchum reiterated the regulator’s belief that adviser oversight should be increased, telling the newspaper that Congress should provide the SEC with the resources necessary to increase adviser examinations. The SEC examines about 8% of the nearly 11,000 registered investment advisers each year.