Skip to main content

FINRA and Rule Reg BI

In today’s financial landscape, understanding the rules and regulations that govern the interactions between brokerage firms and their customers is crucial for both parties. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and its Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) have been pivotal in ensuring that the financial advice and products offered to customers are in their best interests. This blog will delve into the intricacies of FINRA and Rule Reg BI, emphasizing their impact on customers and the importance of maintaining accurate account information.

Understanding FINRA and Rule Reg BI

FINRA is a non-governmental organization that regulates member brokerage firms and exchange markets. Its primary goal is to protect investors by maintaining the fairness of the U.S. financial markets. Rule Reg BI, which was implemented on June 30, 2020, is an extension of this commitment to investor protection. It requires brokerage firms to act in the best interest of their customers when making recommendations about securities transactions or investment strategies involving securities.

Impact on Customers

Rule Reg BI elevates the standard of conduct for brokers beyond the previous suitability obligation, which required that a broker’s recommendations had to be suitable for the customer based on their financial situation and needs. Under Reg BI, brokers are now required to act in the best interest of the customer at the time a recommendation is made, without placing the financial or other interest of the broker ahead of the interest of the customer.

This means customers can expect recommendations that not only are suitable for their financial needs and objectives but also align with their best interests. This includes an assessment of costs, risks, and rewards associated with the recommendation.

The Importance of Accurate New Account Information

For Rule Reg BI to be effectively implemented, accurate account information is paramount. When opening an account, customers are asked to provide detailed information, including their investment objectives, risk tolerance, financial situation, and net worth. This information is essential because it guides the brokerage firm in making recommendations that are in the customer’s best interest.

Incorrect or outdated information can lead to recommendations that are not aligned with the customer’s current financial situation or objectives. Hence, it is of utmost importance that customers provide accurate and up-to-date information when they open an account and throughout their relationship with the brokerage firm.

The Duty of the Brokerage Firm

Brokerage firms have a duty to not only collect accurate information at the outset but also to ensure that this information is updated on a regular basis. Rule Reg BI implicitly requires firms to update relevant customer information on at least an annual basis or when there is a significant change in the customer’s financial situation or investment objectives. This could include events like a major life change (marriage, divorce, birth of a child), a significant fluctuation in income, or a change in financial goals.

By keeping customer information current, brokerage firms can continue to make recommendations that are in the best interests of their customers. This ongoing process helps in building trust and ensures that the investment advice provided remains aligned with the customer’s evolving financial needs and goals.


FINRA’s Rule Reg BI represents a significant shift in the brokerage industry, prioritizing the needs and best interests of customers like never before. The success of this regulation relies heavily on the accuracy and timeliness of the account information provided by customers and maintained by brokerage firms. As customers and firms navigate this new regulatory landscape, the emphasis on accurate, up-to-date information will be key to ensuring that investment recommendations continue to meet the best interest standard. Through compliance with these requirements, the financial industry can foster a more trustworthy and client-focused investment environment.