You get that call, and your heart drops. You knew that a regulatory exam was on the horizon, but you have put off thinking about it. Now, you are face-to-face with an upcoming FINRA examination, and the panic has set in.
Reviewing your current mid-year compliance budget plan and adjusting for the rest of the year is important. With COVID-19 taking up a substantial portion of the first half of the year, your vision and budget for 2020 may have drastically changed.
FINRA recently released a podcast called “What to Expect: The 2020 Exam and Risk Monitoring Program“. It provides a wealth of information from three members of the Member Supervision Senior Leadership on what to expect from the Examination and Risk Monitoring program in 2020. Here are a few highlights from the podcast. Read More…
In the recent “2019 Report on FINRA Examination Findings and Observations,” one of the topics highlighted was the use of digital communications. This can include a wide range of social media, email, text messaging, and various other digital tools. The regulatory requirements pertaining to the usage of digital communications are outlined in Exchange Act Rule 17a-3 and 17a-4 and FINRA Rules 3110(b)(4) and 4510. These rules require procedures pertaining to the usage of these types of communications, as well as the appropriate maintenance of the communications in the form of books and records.
At the end of each calendar year, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) staff of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) publish a list of topics for the next year’s examination priorities. Not so surprisingly, the first item for the 2019 exam priorities listed is “fees and expenses”. This topic was also the highlight of an OCIE Risk Alert in April 2018 as one of the most frequent compliance issues identified in Examinations of Investment Advisers.