Financial services: Keep these 4 regulatory compliance institutions on speed dial

Whether you are a bank, credit union or other financial services business, you know there are institutions keeping a watchful eye over your firm’s compliance.  

There are a variety of compliance regulations and laws you must abide by. Here’s a rundown of the top regulatory compliance institutions for the financial industry. 


For those of you in the financial services industry, you’re quite familiar with FINRA. But in case you haven’t, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is a non-governmental agency that provides regulatory services for the financial industry.  

A few of FINRA’s  many functions include: 

  • Regulating over 4,200 brokerage firms on the market  
  • Overseeing the stock market and securities industry 
  • Protecting the public, investors and brokers from unethical practices, and fraud through regulations, and monitoring 
  • Keeping the stock market ordered, uniform, and structured 

The Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) oversees FINRA. However, FINRA and the SEC have specific regulating responsibilities. Whereas the SEC’s role is to ensure fairness for investors, FINRA focuses on monitoring and regulating stockbrokers and brokerage firms, deterring misconduct, and ensuring that the financial markets are fair. 

FINRA’s compliance rules and regulations include: 

  • All brokers are required to be licensed and registered. 
  • All brokers  passed their examinations. 
  • All brokers meet continuing education requirements. 


The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) maintains stability as well as the public’s confidence in the nation’s financial system.  

The FDIC’s primary functions include: 

  • Insuring deposits 
  • Supervising financial institutions 
  • Ensuring consumer protection and safety 
  • Overseeing the orderly resolution of failing banks 

The FDIC oversees a variety of functions in the banking industry. However, the FDIC also provides a wealth of resources, which include: 

  • Forms and applications 
  • Laws and regulations information 
  • Consumer compliance checklists 
  • Regular updates on banking policy and law changes  
  • Quarterly banking profile analysis and practices 

In addition, the FDIC  oversees regulatory compliance for the financial services industry via three primary actions: 

  • Compliance examinations 

The FDIC conducts examinations to determine whether a financial institution is meeting its responsibility to comply with regulations and proscriptions of federal consumer protection laws and regulations. 

  • Visitations 

Typically, this is used to review a newly chartered institution or another institution’s progress on corrective actions in between compliance examinations. 

  • Investigations 

Investigations are conducted specifically to follow-up on consumer inquiries or complaints, including any fair lending complaints 


The National Credit Union Administration  NCUA is an independent federal agency that insures deposits at federally insured credit unions, protects the members who own credit unions, and charters and regulates federal credit unions. 

The NCUA provides many benefits to its federal credit unions including: 

Credit Union Resources and Expansion 

Providing resources, loans, and grant funding to low-income credit unions for development, learning and education through webinars and online learning, and merging opportunities to credit unions seeking assistance. 

Share Insurance Fund  

The Share Insurance Fund insures individual accounts up to $250,000, and separately protects members’ IRA and KEOGH retirement accounts up to $250,000. 


Credit unions are obligated to manage their risk exposure to compliance risk through a comprehensive compliance program, often referred to as a compliance management system (CMS).  

The essential components in a comprehensive CMS include: 

  • Board of Directors and Senior Management Oversight 
  • Policies and Procedures 
  • Training  
  • Monitoring and Corrective Action 
  • Member Complaint Response 
  • Compliance Audit 

In 2017, the NCUA updated the Compliance Risk Indicators by issuing Supervisory Letter SL No. 17-01. These latest updates include the following additional components

  • Associated Risks 
  • Examination Objectives 
  • Examination Procedures 
  • Checklist 


Any financial institution that serves the Department of Defense (DoD) is required to comply with the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) cybersecurity framework

The framework outlines best practices, guidelines, and standards that help organizations reduce their cybersecurity risks while protecting their networks and data.  

This framework has three main components including the core, implementation tiers, and profiles. Learn more about these components here

To learn more about how your financial services firm can stay in compliance, click here to contact us