FINRA Updates Anti-Money Laundering Template for Small Firms

Per the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and FINRA Rule 3310, FINRA member firms are required to establish Anti-Money Laundering (AML) compliance programs. To assist its smaller member firms with fulfilling these responsibilities, FINRA publishes the “Anti-Money Laundering Template for Small Firms”, which provides instructions, relevant rules, text examples, relevant websites, and other resources that can be used to develop an AML plan for a small firm.

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OBAs & PSTs: FINRA Seeks Comment on Proposed Rule

Last spring, FINRA began a review of its rules regarding Outside Business Activities (OBAs) and Private Securities Transactions (PSTs). The review was meant to evaluate the efficiency and efficacy of FINRA Rule 3270 (Outside Business Activities of Registered Persons) and FINRA Rule 3280 (Private Securities Transactions of an Associated Person). FINRA concluded that while Rules 3270 and 3280 are fulfilling their intended purposes, they could benefit from changes to make the rules more contemporary and present-day and to better align the goal of protecting investors with the reality of the current regulatory landscape and business practices. Based on its findings, FINRA has proposed a new rule governing OBAs and PSTs, meant to replace the current rules and reduce unnecessary burdens on member firms.

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FINRA’s 2017 Examination Findings

Recently, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) released its 2018 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter.   The letter details the topics that FINRA will focus on during the 2018 calendar year.  Firms should review the letter and use it as a guide in making their compliance programs more robust and audit ready for the next examination cycle.  Here, we will discuss a few of the topics that FINRA highlighted. Read More…

What is Form U5?

Upon terminating a registered representative or an investment advisor from a firm, whether voluntary or involuntary, a Form U5 must be filed. The Form U5 is the Uniform Termination Notice for Securities Industry Regulations. It can be filed electronically with the Central Registration Depository (“CRD”) or the Investment Adviser Registration Depository (“IARD”).  Firms can also submit paper filings.  Once filed, the individual’s registration will be terminated in the appropriate jurisdictions and/or self-regulatory organizations. Read More…

FINRA’S COMPLIANCE CALENDAR – January 2018

IT’S ALMOST 2018!!!! As we approach the New Year, firms should make sure that they start off on a good note.  Below are the regulatory filings, request for comments, and certification due dates for the month of January. FINRA does not list any conferences or events for the month. JANUARY 2018 January 2nd Annual Audit[…]

FINRA’S EXAMINATION FINDINGS

Recently, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) released a report detailing its observations from its cycle examination program.  FINRA hopes the report will assist broker-dealers in strengthening their compliance with securities rules and regulations.  FINRA noted that the report does not represent a complete inventory of observations about the industry as a whole, does not imply that any issues discussed exist at any particular firms, and should not be read as creating new legal or regulatory requirements or new interpretations of existing Read More…

FINRA Rule 2210 and Social Networking Websites

FINRA Rule 2210 requires that firms retain records of communications that relate to their “business as such” under Rule 17a-4(b) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (SEA).  Therefore, it is the content of the broker’s communication that determines whether it is regulated under Rule 2210.   However, how does the rule apply if the firm[…]