Chapter 3: General Supervision - C. Customer Complaints and Office Registry

Customer Complaints

All written complaints received from a customer or from an individual acting on behalf of the customer must be reported promptly to the principal of the firm. The firm is required to:

  • Maintain a copy of the complaint at a supervising office of supervisory jurisdiction
  • Electronically report all complaints to FINRA within 15 days of the end of each calendar quarter. If no complaints were received, no report is due
  • Report complaints within 10 days to FINRA, if the complaint alleges misappropriation of funds or securities or forgery

The firm must maintain a separate customer complaint folder, even if it has not received any written customer complaints. If the firm’s file contains complaints, the file must state what action was taken by the firm, if any, and it must disclose the location of the file containing any correspondence relating to the complaint. Information relating to the customer complaint must be maintained by the firm for 4 years.


A principal is required to review all written customer complaints but there is no required time frame to respond or take action.

Investor Information

All broker dealers that carry customer accounts must send its customer’s information detailing FINRA’s public disclosure program at least once per calendar year. The information must contain the program’s 800 number, FINRA’s website and a statement that an investor brochure includes the same information and is available.

Member Offices

As a member’s business grows, they will often wish to open new offices. The classification of the additional offices depends on the type of activity that is conducted. There are three types of offices that a member may open. They are:

  • An office of supervisory jurisdiction
  • A branch office
  • A satellite office

Office of Supervisory Jurisdiction

A member firm must inform FINRA which offices it has identified as being an office of supervisory jurisdiction, or an OSJ. An OSJ is any office that conducts one or more of the following activities at that location:

  • Has custody of customer funds or securities
  • Has final approval for advertising or sales literature
  • Has final approval of customer accounts
  • Reviews and approves customer orders
  • Executes orders or makes markets in securities
  • Forms or structures offerings
  • Supervises employees at other branch offices

At least one resident principal must mange the OSJ. The resident principal must enforce the policies and procedures of the firm, review all customer activity, and inspect the branch offices within their jurisdiction.

Note: A copy of the firm’s policy and procedures manual as well as a copy of FINRA manual must be kept in each OSJ. The FINRA manual must be made available to a customer upon request.

Branch Offices

A branch office is any location that is identified to the public as being a place where the member conducts business but does not engage in any of the activities that would require it to be considered an OSJ. Branch offices are inspected by an OSJ. A branch office may operate without a resident principal. A registered representative may act as the branch manager. The supervisory responsibility is with the OSJ.

Satellite Offices

A satellite office is usually a smaller office that does not meet the definition of a branch. A satellite office may not have any signs or advertising. The home office of a registered representative that works out of their house would be considered a satellite office.

Securities Exam Training

D. Annual Compliance Review
Related Articles
  1. Personal Finance

    Introduction To Financial Planning Organizations

    Organizations such as the FPA and NAPFA are striving to provide higher standards for the financial planning profession and greater protection for consumers through a combination of community ...
  2. Professionals

    Key Steps To Building A Great Financial Planning Practice

    Following the status quo will kill your financial practice. Find out the tips you need to follow to keep you a step or two ahead of the competition.
  3. Professionals

    A Day In The Life Of An Economist

    We've interviewed three economists with very different job descriptions to give you an idea of the many possibilities this career choice offers.
  4. Professionals

    The Best Training Programs For CFP Exams

    The competition to become a financial planner is hot, and growing hotter. Find out the best way to preparing to land the CFP designation.
  5. Professionals

    The Claritas Investment Certificate: A New Foundation-Level Program From The CFA Institute

    The Claritas Investment Certificate is likely to find growing acceptance as the new foundation-level education and ethics standard for the financial service sector internationally.
  6. Professionals


    CFP Exam Guide
  7. Professionals

    Hedge Funds and the Law

    Learn how hedge funds have gotten in trouble for illegal insider trading. Read about questionable high-frequency trading (HFT) strategies.
  8. Professionals

    5 Reasons Financial Advisors Still Choose Mutual Funds

    Take a look at five primary reasons why financial advisors still choose to recommend mutual funds over other types of investment vehicles.
  9. Professionals

    An Overview of Hybrid Long-Term Care Policies

    As the cost of managed care continues to rise a new breed of hybrid life insurance offers a reasonable level of protection at a far more affordable price.
  10. Professionals

    Why Advisors Should Make Hiring a Priority

    Financial advisory firms neglect their hiring processes. Proper descriptions, selection and onboarding can ensure quality candidates are chosen.
  1. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin ...
  2. Series 6

    A securities license entitling the holder to register as a limited ...
  3. Open Architecture

    The option offered by an investment firm to let its clients invest ...
  4. Advanced Diploma In Insurance

    A qualification earned by insurance professionals and conferred ...
  5. Associate In Personal Insurance ...

    A designation earned by professionals looking for training in ...
  6. Fintech

    Fintech is a portmanteau of financial technology that describes ...
  1. What licenses does a hedge fund manager need to have?

    A hedge fund manager does not necessarily need any specific license to operate a fund, but depending on the type of investments ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is a financial advisor allowed to pay a referral fee?

    A financial advisor is allowed to pay a referral fee to a third party for soliciting clients. However, the Securities and ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do financial advisors get paid by mutual funds?

    Financial advisors are reimbursed by mutual funds in exchange for the investment and financial advice they provide. A financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. Do financial advisors prepare tax returns for clients?

    Financial advisors engage in a wide variety of financial areas, including tax return preparation and tax planning for their ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. Why is fiduciary duty so important?

    Fiduciary duty is one the most important professional obligations. It basically provides a much-needed protection for individuals ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Do financial advisors have to find their own clients?

    Nearly all financial advisors, particularly when new to the field, have to find their own clients. An employer may provide ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Ex Works (EXW)

    An international trade term requiring the seller to make goods ready for pickup at his or her own place of business. All ...
  2. Letter of Intent - LOI

    A document outlining the terms of an agreement before it is finalized. LOIs are usually not legally binding in their entirety. ...
  3. Purchasing Power

    The value of a currency expressed in terms of the amount of goods or services that one unit of money can buy. Purchasing ...
  4. Real Estate Investment Trust - REIT

    A REIT is a type of security that invests in real estate through property or mortgages and often trades on major exchanges ...
  5. Section 1231 Property

    A tax term relating to depreciable business property that has been held for over a year. Section 1231 property includes buildings, ...
  6. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!