On Jan. 9, 2020, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter, in which it identifies its areas of examination focus for 2020. The cover note also highlights key changes in FINRA’s risk monitoring and examination program. These changes include the consolidation of FINRA’s three examination programs into a single risk monitoring framework. As part of this new framework, FINRA expects to categorize every FINRA member firm (“Firm”) into one of five business categories: (1) Retail; (2) Capital Markets; (3) Carrying and Clearing; (4) Trading and Execution; and (5) Diversified. Additionally, the cover note details FINRA’s plans to assign each Firm a senior agency leader who will be responsible for the Firm’s examination and risk monitoring.
As part of FINRA’s continuing efforts to provide Firms with compliance and risk management support, the president’s note also points out that this year’s Priority Letter includes a list of practical considerations and questions that Firms may use to assess and evaluate their risk management programs, as well as a new appendix with links to additional FINRA resources related to examination priorities.