The SEC recently adopted a rule change to allow for the use of electronic signatures for documents filed with the Commission. This rule change will apply to Regulation S-T, EDGAR Filer Manual, and certain other filings under the Securities Acts of 1933 and 1934 and the Investment Company Act of 1940. This long-awaited rule change was finally put into effect after the rise of COVID-19 and after the Commission received a rule making petition regarding the use of electronic signatures as the pandemic made it significantly more difficult to obtain “wet” signatures, as was originally required by Rule 302(b). Besides adding the option to use electronic signatures, the existing requirements of Rule 302(b) will be otherwise unchanged.
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.