On October 29, 2020 FINRA released a regulatory notice detailing Rule 3241, a new rule that limits any associated person of a member firm who is registered with FINRA from being named a beneficiary, executor or trustee, or to have a power of attorney or similar position of trust for or on behalf of a customer. The rule requires the member firm with which the registered person is associated, upon receiving required written notice from the registered person, to review and approve or disapprove the registered person assuming such status or acting in such capacity. Rule 3241 does not apply where the customer is a member of the registered person’s “immediate family, and becomes effective February 15, 2021
An outside business activity (“OBA”) is defined as a registered person having any business activity outside the scope of the relationship with their member firm. As defined in FINRA Rule 3270, this may include acting as an employee, independent contractor, sole proprietor, officer, director, or partner for any other entities besides the member firm. Generally, the activity may also involve compensation or a reasonable expectation of compensation.
Associated person disclosures and attestations are not a “one size fits all” list of documents. The purpose of disclosures and attestations is to educate your employees on the expectations of the firm based on firm procedure and regulatory mandates. Another important purpose is to give representatives a chance to know relevant updates and changes that may require pre-approval and/or added compliance responsibilities.
Failure to timely update information on an individual form U4 may lead to potential fines and suspensions for a registered person, especially if the act is willful. Examinations and sweeps performed by FINRA generally reveal exceptions.