FINRA is the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the self-regulatory organization over US broker dealers.
Gloria Dalton is FINRA’s Ambassador abroad and she was the latest guest on FINRA’s podcast “Unscripted”.
Dalton explained why it was necessary for FINRA to have an ambassador, despite only having jurisdiction within US borders.
“Our financial markets are global, and we also have members that have a lot of international touch points.” She said on the podcast. “They may have registered representatives that are located abroad or have branches or affiliates in foreign jurisdictions. We also have some members that are headquartered in foreign countries or may be part of foreign regulatory structures.”
She then explained how her group fit within FINRA.
“The international group works across the departments within FiNRA and we help to support really in two primary ways. One is that we work with the examination and enforcement departments to respond to requests that may impact more directly with matters that have international issues or information sharing needs may arise. For example, the enforcement may have an investigation that they’re working where they need to send an investigative request to a registered person located in a foreign jurisdiction.”
She said that when FINRA is considering implementing a rule or reviewing a rule already implemented her group will survey global regulators who have dealt with the same issue to see what their approach and results have been.
Prior to being at FINRA, Dalton held a similar role in the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), working in their Office of International Affairs for eighteen years.
Dalton said the two offices work hand in hand on multi-lateral initiatives.
“Those would be work that we’re doing with international organizations, such as the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO), particularly on global regulatory projects where it really may be beneficial or make sense for the US regulators to be coordinating and FINRA can be helpful in providing the broker/dealer regulatory perspective.”
Dalton said IOSCO is, “a multi-lateral group of securities regulators of which FINRA is a member.”
While FINRA is an SRO, it is required to have all rules and procedures be approved by SEC.
There are many different SRO models and Dalton said the one most similar to FINRA’s is Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC).
“(IIROC) is very similar to FINRA in terms of their structure and their responsibilities and they are a very close partner for FINRA,” she said.
Dalton said BREXIT has led to a better working relationship with the Central Bank of Ireland.
“This is a regulator that we certainly knew but did not have an occasion to have to interact with quite as much and now we realize that they are an important regulator and one that we want to make sure that we have an open dialogue with,” she said.
Dalton said one unusual regulator which FINRA does a fair amount of work with is in Malta.
“I think I would say Malta. We do a fair bit of work with Malta Financial Services Commission.” Dalton said, “Their commission is quite small, but they are very active. They have a number of US persons that seek to be licensed in Malta.”