This is a summary of a recent FINRA podcast on Membership Application Program.
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) publishes a monthly review of disciplinary actions taken against both firms and individuals. These disciplinary actions are useful tools to look for trends in violations and other sanctions. These trends can assist you in identifying weak areas in your Firm’s compliance programs or surveillance. Below is a list of a few recent actions related to unregistered offerings or private placements including links to learn more about each as well as key takeaways. Due diligence obligations in connection with private offerings- Torch Securities In summary, Torch Securities failed to establish and maintain WSPs reasonably designed to Read more about Private Placement Best Practices from FINRA Disciplinary Actions[…]
Rule 147, also known as the intrastate offering exemption, allows for firms to avoid registration with the SEC for intrastate offerings under certain conditions. This exemption seeks to facilitate the financing of local business operations for companies that are organized in the state where it is offering the securities, carry out a significant amount of its business in that state, and make offers and sales only to residents of that state. The Rule 147 exemption is available only if the entire issue is offered and sold exclusively to residents of that single state. If any sales take place to non-residents, Read more about Rule 147 Offerings[…]
On July 15, 2021, FINRA released Regulatory Notice 21-26 announcing changes to FINRA Rules 5122 (Private Placements of Securities Issued by Members) and 5123 (Private Placements of Securities) effective October 1, 2021. The changes will require members to file retail communications that promote or recommend private placement offerings that are subject to those rules’ filing requirements.
On Nov. 2, 2020, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted final rules to simplify the exempt offering framework. The SEC’s goal with these amendments was to “simplify, harmonize, and improve certain aspects of the exempt offering framework to promote capital formation while preserving or enhancing important investor protections.”. More Specifically they aimed to:
- Address the ability of issuers to move from one exemption to another;
- Set clear and consistent rules governing offering communications between investors and issuers;
- Address potential gaps and inconsistencies in their rules relating to offering and investment limits; and
- Harmonize certain disclosure requirements and bad actor disqualification provisions.
On October 28, 2020, FINRA filed a proposed rule change to amend Rules 5122 (Private Placements of Securities Issued by Members) and 5123 (Private Placements of Securities) that would require members to file retail communications concerning Private Placement offerings. Previously, Rules 5122 and 5123 required all offering documents to be filed with FINRA. However, they weren’t specific enough to include all documents that should have been considered offering documents, such as retail communications.