Our Role

Putting Investors First

THE ROLE OF STATE SECURITIES REGULATORS
For 100 years, state securities regulators have been protecting Main Street investors from fraud. State securities regulation predates the creation of the federal Securities and Exchange Commission by almost two decades.

State securities regulators serve the investing public in your state and play a unique role in their protection. For example, the securities administrator in your state is responsible for licensing securities firms and investment professionals, such as broker-dealers and investment advisers, registering certain securities offerings, reviewing financial offerings of small companies, auditing branch office sales practices and record-keeping, promoting investor education, and most importantly, enforcing state securities laws. In addition to protecting investors, many state regulators also help small businesses raise money and comply with securities laws.

Some state securities regulators are appointed by their Governors or Secretaries of State, others are career state government employees, and five come under the jurisdiction of their states’ Attorneys General. Depending on your state, your securities regulator may be found in an independent securities commission or may work in a department that also regulates banking or insurance.

HOW STATE SECURITIES REGULATORS SERVE AND PROTECT INVESTORS
NASAA members have protected Main Street investors from fraud for 100 years. Securities markets are global but securities are sold locally by professionals who are licensed in every state where they conduct business. Our nation’s unique complementary system of state, federal, and industry regulation ensures fair markets for all investors.

More than 100 million investors rely on regulators to keep our nation’s markets well policed and cannot afford any weakening of this successful and complementary regulatory system. NASAA members work within your state government to protect investors and help maintain the integrity of the securities industry by:

Licensing stockbrokers, investment adviser firms (those managing less than $100 million in assets), and securities firms that conduct business in the state.

Registering certain securities offered to the states’ investors.

Investigating investor complaints and potential cases of investment fraud

Enforcing state securities laws by fining, penalizing, providing restitution to investors, prosecuting white-collar criminals, and imposing legally binding conduct remedies designed to correct specific problems.

Examining brokerage and investment adviser firms to ensure compliance with securities laws and maintenance of accurate records of client accounts.

Reviewing certain offerings that are not exempt from state law.

Educating investors about their rights and providing the tools and knowledge they need to make informed financial decisions.

Advocating passage of strong, sensible, and consistent state securities laws and regulations.