2019 FINRA Renewal Program for BDs and RIAs

The 2019 FINRA Renewal Program for Broker-Dealers, Investment Adviser Firms, Investment Adviser Agents, Investment Adviser Representatives, and Branches is scheduled to begin on November 12, 2018.

Firms should note the following key dates in the renewal process:

  • November 12, 2018 – Preliminary statements are available via the E-Bill section of WebCRD. Preliminary statements are not mailed to firms.
  • December 17, 2018 – Full payment of Preliminary Statements is due.
  • January 2, 2019 – Final Statements are available via the E-Bill section of WebCRD.
  • January 21, 2019 – Full Payment of Final Statements is due.

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Guidance on Third-Party Recordkeeping Services and SEA Rule 17a-4

As you may remember from our earlier post on the subject, under SEA Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4, a broker-dealer is required to make and keep books and records relating to its business and may maintain and preserve records by means of “electronic storage media.” The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released guidance in response to a letter received from FINRA regarding contractual arrangements between broker-dealers and third-party recordkeeping service providers – more specifically, contractual arrangements that include provisions permitting the third-party recordkeeping service providers to delete or discard the broker-dealer’s records, typically due to non-payment by the broker-dealer of fees due under the contract.  FINRA recapped the guidance received from the SEC in its Regulatory Notice 18-31.

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Customer Identification Program (CIP): Common Questions – Part II

[Continued from Customer Identification Program (CIP): Common Questions – Part I]

What Is A “Reasonable Time” To Verify Customers’ Identities?

A customer’s identity must be verified within a “reasonable time” before or after the customer’s account is opened. The rule does not specify what counts as a “reasonable time,” and the Adopting Release for the Broker-Dealer CIP Rule emphasizes that broker-dealers must be reasonably flexible when undertaking such verification. The broker-dealer must be able to undertake verification before or after an account if opened, as the amount of time needed may depend on various factors, which is part of the firm’s risk assessment.  A firm’s CIP procedures must enable the broker-dealer to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of each customer. Read More…

Customer Identification Program (CIP): Common Questions – Part I

In our previous post on customer identification programs, “Customer Identification Program (CIP): Definitions and Requirements,” we defined “account” and “customer” and went over the minimum requirements for CIP procedures and verification, including touching on non-documentary means of identity verification. This post will get a little more specific, addressing common questions firms have when developing and implementing their customer identification programs. Read More…

Customer Identification Program (CIP): Definitions and Requirements – Part II

[Continued from Customer Identification Program (CIP): Definitions and Requirements – Part I]

How Does Risk Assessment Affect a Firm’s CIP?

Appropriate verification procedures for a CIP are governed by a risk-based assessment. A CIP must include risk-based procedures for verifying the identity of each customer to a reasonable and practicable extent. These procedures must be based on the broker-dealer’s assessment of the relevant risks, including those presented by the types of accounts maintained by the broker-dealer, the methods of opening accounts, and the types of identification information available. Additionally, this risk-based assessment should take into consideration the broker-dealer’s size, location, and customer base.

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Customer Identification Program (CIP): Definitions and Requirements – Part I

A broker-dealer must establish, document, and maintain a written Customer Identification Program (CIP) as a part of the broker-dealer’s anti-money laundering (AML) compliance program (31 CFR 1023.220) as required by FINRA Rule 3310. The CIP must be appropriate for the broker-dealer’s size and business, and it must outline the following procedures: Read More…

RegTech: Regulatory Intelligence & Risk Management and Assessment

This blog post is the third and final entry in our series on the five major areas of Regulatory Technology (RegTech) tools as determined by FINRA: surveillance and monitoring, customer identification and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, regulatory intelligence, reporting and risk management, and investor risk assessment. If you missed our previous entries on how the financial services industry is using RegTech tools to keep up with their regulatory compliance requirements, they can be found at “RegTech: Surveillance and Monitoring” and “RegTech: Customer Identification and AML Compliance”. Our final entry will address the areas of regulatory intelligence, reporting and risk management, and investor risk assessment. Read More…

RegTech: Customer Identification and AML Compliance

Welcome to the second part of our three-part series on Regulatory Technology (RegTech) tools and the securities industry! As we discussed in our previous post, “RegTech: Surveillance and Monitoring,” more and more members of the financial services industry are using RegTech tools to effectively and more efficiently meet their regulatory compliance requirements. FINRA has identified five major areas in which RegTech tools are being applied: surveillance and monitoring, customer identification and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, regulatory intelligence, reporting and risk management, and investor risk assessment. Today we will be focusing on customer identification and AML compliance RegTech applications.

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RegTech: Surveillance and Monitoring

In an effort to keep current with regulatory compliance requirements, many financial services firms are turning to regulatory technology (“RegTech”) tools to help them meet their obligations effectively and most efficiently. After discussions with over forty participants in the RegTech space, FINRA has provided a summary of how RegTech tools are being applied in five major areas: surveillance and monitoring, customer identification and anti-money laundering (AML) compliance, regulatory intelligence, reporting and risk management, and investor risk assessment. We will be tackling these areas across three different blogs. Our first area of interest is surveillance and monitoring. Read More…