The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is the largest nongovernmental regulator for all securities firms doing business in the United States. All told, FINRA oversees nearly 5,000 brokerage firms, about 172,000 branch offices, and more than 676,000 registered securities representatives. Created in July 2007 through the consolidation of NASD and the member regulation, enforcement, and arbitration functions of the New York Stock Exchange, FINRA is dedicated to investor protection and market integrity through effective and efficient regulation and complementary compliance and technology-based services.
The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) is an important part of the overall system of investor protection in the United States. Whereas a number of federal, self-regulatory, and state securities agencies deal with cases of investment fraud, SIPC's focus is both different and narrow: restoring funds to investors with assets in the hands of bankrupt and otherwise financially troubled brokerage firms. SIPC was not chartered by Congress to combat fraud.
Securities in accounts carried by National Financial Services LLC (NFS), Member NYSE/SIPC, a Fidelity Investments company, are protected in accordance with SIPC up to $500,000 (including up to $250,000 for cash awaiting reinvestment). NFS also has arranged for coverage above these limits. Neither coverage protects against a decline in the market value of securities, nor does either coverage extend to certain securities that are considered ineligible for coverage. For more details on SIPC, or to request a SIPC brochure, visit www.sipc.org.