WASHINGTON, D.C. - It's the call that makes firms cringe: finding out that regulators are going to conduct a visit of a branch office.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has increasingly put more firms on notice that they should expect their branch office doorbells to ring more often. In the past two years, FINRA has changed its approach when conducting examinations, favoring branch office inspections in lieu of the home office visits that it used to emphasize, said Susan Axelrod, executive vice president of regulatory operations at FINRA, at the self-regulatory organization’s annual conference on Monday.

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