Small Firms Information

Small Firms Information Archive

Following are archives of information for the small firm community—those firms with 150 or fewer registered representatives.

 

Updated: September 18, 2014

Election Notices
As a reminder, there are two elections that are taking place between September 3 and October 3, 2014. Please review each Election Notice for information about voting methods and candidate profiles. The voting period for each election ends on Friday, October 3, 2014.

 


 

Updated: August 4, 2014

Small Firm CRCP Scholarship
FINRA Now Accepting Applications

FINRA is offering three scholarships to industry professionals from small firms to attend the FINRA Institute at Wharton Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP) program. The scholarship covers full tuition for the entire CRCP program, including room and board at Wharton. FINRA is accepting applications through October 10, 2014.

For more information, including eligibility requirements, the selection process and application form, please visit the CRCP Program Scholarship page.

 


 

PCAOB-Registered Auditors Required for Fiscal Years Ending After December 31, 2008: Additional Guidance Available and Certification of Annual Audits Reminder

 

In Information Notice 12/9/09, FINRA reminds firms that their auditor must be registered with the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB). FINRA recommends that firms verify the PCAOB registration status of the auditor they plan to use to audit their annual financial statements. If the accounting firm is not yet registered with the PCAOB, FINRA suggests that firms encourage the auditor to apply for registration as soon as possible.

 

FINRA will treat financial statements certified by an auditor who is not PCAOB-registered as not having been filed under Schedule A of the FINRA By-Laws, Section 4(g)(2)&(3). Such firms are subject to suspension under the procedures set out in FINRA Rule 9552 (Failure to Provide Information or Keep Information Current).

 

The following resources may be useful to firms seeking to comply with the PCAOB-registered auditor requirement:


 

Updated: July 18, 2014

FINRA Board of Governors Elections: Small Firm Candidates Questions and Answers

 

On Thursday, August 14, 2014, FINRA will conduct its annual meeting of firms to elect individuals to fill one small firm seat and one large firm seat on the FINRA Board of Governors.

 

To help small firms make an informed decision and help candidates promote their platforms, the Small Firm Advisory Board (SFAB) invited the four small firm governor candidates to voluntarily answer five questions.

 


 

Posted: January 30, 2014

Free Webinar—New Supervision and Supervisory Control Rules
February 26, 2014 | 1:00 – 2:00 pm (ET)

 

In this free 60-minute video webinar, FINRA staff and industry experts explain changes to FINRA's recently approved consolidated rules for supervision and supervisory control system. During the webinar you will learn about key changes to the rules and potential impact to your firm's compliance program. Participants may submit questions in advance and during the live program.

 


 

Posted: January 28, 2013

2013 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter

 

FINRA issued its 2013 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter to highlight new and existing issues of importance to our regulatory programs. FINRA issues this letter to help firms assess their compliance, supervisory and ethics programs in the context of its key regulatory priorities.

 


 

Updated: January 2, 2014

FINRA Contact System (FCS) Annual Verification Due

 

Firms are required by Rule 1160, to complete an annual verification of their FCS contact information within the first 17 business days of each calendar year. This year's deadline is January 27, 2014.

Please login to FCS and perform your Annual verification. If you have questions on how to complete your FINRA Annual FCS verification, please review the FCS guides or call the FINRA Gateway Call Center at (301) 869-6699.

 


 

Posted: July 24, 2013

A Few Minutes With FINRA—Board of Governors Election Process

 

In the latest video in this new series, Marcia Asquith, FINRA's Corporate Secretary, answers common questions about FINRA's Board of Governors elections, including where firms can find information about candidates and how to vote.

 


 

Posted: May 9, 2013

2013 FINRA Risk Control Assessment (RCA)

 

The 2013 RCA is now available, and emails were sent to executive representatives at all firms requesting that they complete and submit the RCA by Friday, June 21. The RCA is a survey that helps FINRA understand each firm's business activities, the products and services they sell, and the kinds of clients and counterparties with which they deal, and to identify and assess the integrity of the controls intended to manage underlying risks. The RCA is an important part of FINRA’s risk-based examination program, in that the information collected from firms helps us better understand firms’ businesses so examiners can arrive for examinations focused on any areas that pose a real risk to investors.

 


 

Posted: May 9, 2013

A Few Minutes With FINRA - Regulatory Operations Overview

 

"A Few Minutes With FINRA" is a new online video series in which senior FINRA staff discuss timely regulatory topics and respond to comments from firms on specific areas of concern.

 

In this first episode, watch Susan Axelrod, FINRA's Executive Vice President of Regulatory Operations, discuss her responsibilities and priorities and provide an update on the 2013 Risk Control Assessment.

 


 

Posted: March 5, 2013

Free Webinar: Discussion With the Small Firm Advisory Board

April 23, 2013

2 – 3 p.m., Eastern Time (ET)

 

This free webinar focuses on the Small Firm Advisory Board (SFAB), which is tasked with informing FINRA’s Board of Governors and staff on the impact of FINRA rule proposals and regulatory programs on small firms. During this 60-minute webinar, current and past SFAB chairs discuss their thoughts on recent FINRA regulatory initiatives, pending rule proposals and how small firms can participate in the rulemaking process. The panel also addresses the work of the SFAB, how individuals get on the SFAB and how the meetings are conducted. The SFAB wants to hear from FINRA’s small firm members; this webinar facilitates an open exchange of ideas and is an opportunity for small firms to advise the SFAB on areas of concern. Participants may submit questions in advance and during the live program.

 


 

Posted: January 8, 2013

Free Webinar — Communications with the Public: New FINRA Rule 2210

 

In this free 60 minute webinar, FINRA staff and industry experts explain changes to FINRA’s communication rules, which become effective February 4. During the webinar you will learn about the new supervision standards for seminars and other public appearances, the new filing requirement for structured products and how social media fits in under the new rules.

 


 

Posted: January 7, 2013

Annual Entitlement User Accounts Certification Runs January 14 – February 13

 

FINRA's annual user accounts certification process began on January 14, 2013, and will run through February 13, 2013. During this 30-day period, Super Account Administrators (SAAs) for firms with more than one user must certify that users at their firm who require access to applications in FINRA's Entitlement Program have the appropriate entitlement privileges to perform their job responsibilities. Please visit the Annual Entitlement User Accounts Certification Process page for more information.

 


 

Posted: January 2, 2013

FINRA Contact System (FCS) Annual Validation Due

 

Firms are required by Rule 1160, to complete an annual verification of their FCS contact information within the first 17 business days of each calendar year. This year's deadline is January 25, 2013.

 

Please login to FCS and perform your Annual verification. If you have questions on how to complete your FINRA Annual FCS verification, please review the FCS guides or call the FINRA Gateway Call Center at (301) 869-6699.

 


 

Posted: December 10, 2012

SSOI Filing Due Dates for 2013

 

In Information Notice 12/3/12 , FINRA lists the 2013 due dates for Supplemental Statement of Income (SSOI). In addition the notice includes the 2013 due dates for annual audit and Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS) filings. Please visit the SSOI page for more information and additional resources.

 


 

Posted: December 10, 2012

Election Results

 

FINRA recently concluded elections to fill vacant seats on the Small Firm Advisory Board (SFAB), National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) and district committees. For more information on the election results see the Election Notice 12/6/12.

 


 

Posted: November 16, 2012

2013 Renewal Program

 

The Renewal Program facilitates the annual renewal of broker-dealer firms’ and their registered representatives’ FINRA, state/jurisdiction and self-regulatory organization (SRO) registrations. Preliminary Renewal Statements and reports for the 2013 Renewal Program were posted on November 12, 2012. Full payment of Preliminary Renewal Statements must post to firms’ Renewal Accounts with FINRA by Thursday, December 13, 2012. For more information, including key dates, and payment information visit the Renewals page.

 


 

Posted: November 8, 2012

Free Webinar: FINRA Year-End Review & 2013 Preview
December 13, 2012  |  3 – 4 p.m., Eastern Time (ET)

 

In this free video webinar, a panel of FINRA executives will review FINRA’s major regulatory activities of 2012 and preview its priorities for 2013. The 60-minute live program will also allow participants to submit questions to the panelists.

 

Panelists

  • Rick Ketchum, FINRA Chairman and CEO
  • Susan Axelrod, Executive Vice President, FINRA Member Regulation – Sales Practice
  • Bob Colby, FINRA Chief Legal Officer
  • Chip Jones, Senior Vice President, FINRA Member Relations (Moderator)

 


 

Posted: October 22, 2012

SFAB Email to Small Firms

 

View the Small Firm Advisory Board email to small firms.

 


 

Posted: October 18, 2012

Election Notices

 

As a reminder, there are three elections that are taking place between October 17 and November 16, 2012. Please review each Election Notice for information about voting methods and candidate profiles. The voting period for each election ends on Friday, November 16, 2012.

 

 


 

Posted: October 3, 2012

SSOI Resources

 

As a reminder, firms must file the SSOI as a supplement to the FOCUS report within 20 business days after the end of each calendar quarter, starting with the quarter ending September 30, 2012. All FINRA members must file the initial SSOI by October 26, 2012.

 

To assist firms in preparing the SSOI, FINRA developed a page dedicated to SSOI Resources, which includes access to the SSOI form and Instructions, related Regulatory Notice and a set of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

 


 

Posted: September 4, 2012

Webinar: FINRA Examination
October 9, 2012 | 1 – 2:30 p.m., Eastern Time (ET)

 

This free webinar focuses on the FINRA examination program, how it is changing and how firms can best prepare for their exam. During this 90-minute webinar, FINRA staff and industry experts discuss the new risk-based examination process, including the risk factors involved and FINRA’s use of the Risk Control Assessment survey results. Panelists also cover exam findings, leading industry practices, and ways firms can assist the examination process, with particular attention to outside business activities, written supervisory procedures and suitability. Participants may submit questions during the live program.

 


 

Posted: August 1, 2012

CRCP Small Firm Scholarship
FINRA Now Accepting Applications for 2013

 

FINRA is offering three scholarships to industry professionals from small firms to attend the FINRA Institute at Wharton Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP) program. The scholarship covers full tuition for the entire CRCP program, including room and board at Wharton. FINRA is accepting applications through October 5, 2012.

 

For more information, including eligibility requirements, the selection process and application form, please visit the CRCP Small Firm Scholarship page.

 


 

Posted: June 25, 2012

Free Webinar: Using FINRA Technology to Support Compliance • August 7, 2012

 

This free webinar focuses on FINRA technology that can help firms meet regulatory requirements and monitor risk. During this 90-minute webinar, FINRA staff and industry experts discuss FINRA systems such as CRD, Firm Gateway and the Report Center. Panelists review a number of useful FINRA reports and systems that support firm compliance activities and describe how they use these tools in their day-to-day operations.

 


 

Posted: March 13, 2012

SFAB Email to Small Firms

 

View the Small Firm Advisory Board email to small firms.

 


 

Posted: February 28, 2012

Risk Control Assessment Survey

 

The Risk Control Assessment (RCA) survey is now available in the Information Requests system in the FINRA Firm Gateway. FINRA requests a response to the voluntary survey by Monday, April 9.

 

For more information, review the RCA Frequently Asked Questions.

 


 

Posted: February 2, 2012

2012 Regulatory and Examination Priorities

 

FINRA has issued its 2012 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter (PDF 310 KB), to highlight new and existing issues of importance to its regulatory programs. FINRA issues this letter to help firms assess their compliance and supervisory programs in the context of these key risk areas.

 


 

Posted: January 11, 2012

Free Webinar: Branch Office Inspections

On February 8, 2012, at 1 pm (ET), FINRA hosted a free webinar that focused on branch office inspections. FINRA staff and industry panelists discussed common branch deficiencies and risk-based branch office inspection policies and procedures. Panelists also shared—from small and large firm perspectives—tips, techniques and resources they use to maintain an effective branch office inspection program. 

 


 

Posted: October 20, 2011

2012 Renewal Program

Preliminary Renewal Statements and reports for the 2012 FINRA Renewal Program will be available on November 14, 2011. The Renewal Program facilitates the annual renewal of broker-dealer firms’ and their registered representatives’ FINRA, state/jurisdiction and self-regulatory organization (SRO) registrations.
 


 

SFAB Email to Small Firms

View the Small Firm Advisory Board email to small firms.
 


 

2011 Regulatory and Examination Priorities

FINRA has issued its 2011 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter (PDF 251 KB), to highlight new and existing issues of importance to its regulatory programs. FINRA issues this letter to help firms assess their compliance and supervisory programs in the context of these key risk areas.
 


 

Posted: October 21, 2011

Election Notices

As a reminder, there are three elections that are taking place between October 19 and November 18, 2011. Please review each Election Notice for information about voting methods and candidate profiles. The voting period for each election ends on Friday, November 18, 2011.
 

 


 

Posted: September 14, 2011

FINRA Small Firm Advisory Board (SFAB) Election: Midwest and South Region Seats

Two seats on the SFAB are up for election: the Midwest and South Region seats. Eligible individuals interested in being included on the ballot for the election must submit the relevant information via the candidate profile form no later than Friday, October 7, 2011. The candidate profile form is available as an attachment to the Election Notice – 9/7/11.
 


 

Posted: September 14, 2011

FINRA District Committee Election

Reminders there are a number of forthcoming vacancies on the FINRA District Committees that will be open for election. The election process has been modified by recent By-Law changes to adjust the size of the District Committees, elect new members based on firm size, and replace the District Nominating Committees with direct nomination and election.

 

All eligible candidates will be placed on the ballot if they submit a candidate nomination and profile form by Friday, October 7, 2011. The candidate profile form is available as an attachment to Election Notice – 9/7/2011.

 


 

Posted: August 3, 2011

CRCP Small Firm Scholarship

Now Accepting Applications for 2012

 

FINRA is offering three scholarships to industry professionals from small firms to attend the FINRA Institute at Wharton Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP) program. The scholarship covers full tuition for the entire CRCP program, including room and board at Wharton. FINRA is accepting applications through October 7, 2011.

 

For more information, including eligibility requirements, the selection process and application form, please visit the CRCP Small Firm Scholarship page.

 


 

Posted: July 29, 2011

Small Firm Update Webinar

Live Program
September 7, 2011
2 – 3:30 p.m., Eastern Time / 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., Pacific Time


This free video webinar will inform small firms about a number of FINRA activities ranging from updates on our examination and regulatory programs to compliance tools and resources for small firms. FINRA staff and small firm CEOs will also discuss small firm participation in the FINRA committee and rulemaking process. Participants may submit questions in advance and during the live program.

 


 

Posted: July 8, 2011

FINRA Board of Governors Election: Small Firm Candidates

As a reminder, one Small Firm seat on the FINRA Board of Governors is up for election. The small firm governor candidates are:

 

  • Alan Davidson, President, Zeus Securities, Inc.
  • E. John Moloney, Chairman and CEO, Moloney Securities Co., Inc.
  • Ken Norensberg, Chief Operating Officer, Tritaurian Capital Incorporated

 

A proxy was mailed to the executive representative of each eligible small firm on June 29, along with a copy of Election Notice 6/29/2011. Please review the Election Notice for information about the annual meeting of FINRA firms, voting methods and candidate profiles.

 


 

Posted: May 12, 2011

FINRA Board of Governors Election: Small Firm Governor

As a reminder, one small firm seat on the FINRA Board of Governors is up for election. Eligible individuals for the Small Firm seat interested in being included on the ballot for the election of governors can do so by following the petition procedures set forth in the By-Laws, which are further described in Election Notice 5/3/2011. Petitions must be submitted no later than Friday, June 17, 2011.

 


 

Posted: March 16, 2011

SFAB Email to Small Firms

View the Small Firm Advisory Board email to small firms.

 


 

Business Continuity Plan Template Updated


FINRA has updated the Business Continuity Plan (BCP) Template—an optional guide that can assist small introducing firms in fulfilling their need to create and maintain BCPs and emergency contact person lists under FINRA rules.

 

The updated template reflects new FINRA Rule 4370, which carries over NASD Rules 3510 and 3520 without substantive change. In addition to new rule citations, the revision provides updated resources for business continuity planning and incorporates the previous free-standing BCP Disclosure Statement into the template itself.

  


 

Updated Anti-Money Laundering Template for Small Firms

 

FINRA provides a template for small firms to assist them in fulfilling their responsibilities to establish the Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program required by the Bank Secrecy Act and its implementing regulations and FINRA Rule 3310. The template, which FINRA recently updated, provides examples, instructions, and resources that are useful for developing an AML plan for a small firm.

 


 

Rules Regarding Supervision, Supervisory Controls and CEO Certification

 

Note: FINRA Rule 31301 (Annual Certification of Compliance and Supervisory Processes) replaces NASD Rule 3013 and the corresponding provisions in Incorporated NYSE Rule 342.30 and related NYSE Rule Interpretations (effective December 15, 2008). See Regulatory Notice 08-57 and SR-FINRA-2008-030 for additional information.

 

FINRA has consolidated resource information regarding NASD Rule 3012 (Supervisory Control System), FINRA Rule 3130 (Annual Certification of Compliance and Supervisory Processes) and amendments to Rule 3010 (Supervision). In addition, the materials provide information regarding related amendments to Rule 2510 (Discretionary Accounts), Rule 3110 (Books and Records) and IM-3110 (Customer Account Information). Visit the Supervisory Control section of the Web site for more information.

For specific guidance for complying with NASD Rule 3012 and FINRA Rule 3130, visit Guidance on Complying with NASD Rule 3012 and FINRA Rule 3130.

 

 

1 The current FINRA rulebook includes (1) FINRA Rules, (2) NASD Rules and (3) rules incorporated from NYSE (Incorporated NYSE Rules).While the NASD Rules generally apply to all FINRA member firms, the Incorporated NYSE Rules apply only to those members of FINRA that are also members of the NYSE (Dual Members). For more information about the rulebook consolidation process, see Information Notice 03/12/08.

 


 

Firm Gateway: An Easy Way to Access FINRA Regulatory Applications

 

As part of our commitment to helping firms meet their regulatory obligations, we've developed the Firm Gateway - a new tool that provides consolidated access to FINRA applications and timely information relevant to your firm. The Firm Gateway provides:

 

  • One place for regulatory filing and reporting needs
  • One-click access to common tasks and useful resources
  • An at-a-glance view of important filing dates, tasks, events and upcoming rule changes
  • A consolidated view of regulatory forms and filings 

 

Posted: January 5, 2011

Annual FINRA Contact Information Requirement

Firms are reminded to complete the mandatory annual review of the information maintained in the FINRA Contact System (FCS) between January 3 and 26, 2011 (the first 17 business days of the year). FCS tracks whether the annual review is completed within the review period. If you need instructions on performing the review, see the updated FCS Annual Review Guide.

NASD Rule 1160 requires firms to update designated contact information promptly upon any material change, verify such information annually and comply promptly with any request for such information via FCS. See Regulatory Notice 07-42 for more information.
 


 

Posted: November 9, 2010

SFAB Chair Letter to Small Firms

View the Small Firm Advisory Board Chair's letter to small firms.
 


 

Posted: November 8, 2010

2011 Registration Renewal Program


The FINRA Renewal Program facilitates the annual renewal of broker-dealer firms' and their registered representatives' FINRA, state/jurisdiction and self-regulatory organization (SRO) registrations. Firms may file post-dated Form U5, BR Closing/Withdrawal, BDW, or ADV-W filings via Web CRD/IARD until 6 p.m., Eastern Time, December 23, 2010. The 2011 Renewal Program Bulletin and 2011 Renewal Program Calendar are now available. Preliminary Renewal Statements will be available online via Web CRD beginning November 15, 2010. Full renewal payment must post to firm Renewal Accounts by December 13, 2010. Please visit the 2011 FINRA Renewal Program page for complete details.
 


 

Posted: October 4, 2010

Municipal Bond Customer Disclosure Checklist

 

FINRA has designed the Municipal Bond Sales in the Secondary Market: Checklist for Customer Disclosure—a voluntary tool for firms.

 

Among other things, the checklist reminds firms to disclose material information about a bond to customers such as terms and features, ratings and ratings changes, the existence of bond insurance or credit or liquidity enhancements, the bond's price and yield, interest payments, tax implications, call provisions and other material risks, including risk of default. It also provides a template firms may wish to use to document time-of-trade disclosures made to customers.

 

See Regulatory Notice 10-41 and the related news release for more information. In addition, FINRA has released a podcast on sales practice and due diligence obligations, and will be hosting a webinar on disclosure and enforcement trends in municipal securities on November 17.

 


 

2010 Examination Priorities

 

FINRA has issued its 2010 annual examination priorities letter (PDF 250 KB), which highlights new and existing areas of particular significance to this year's examination program. The letter includes topics that are of heightened importance to FINRA's Enforcement Department, as well as the Market Regulation and Member Regulation Departments. FINRA is communicating these areas of potential examination focus to help firms assess their compliance and supervisory programs.