The New Account Application Template is a voluntary model brokerage account form that is provided as a resource to firms when they design or update their new account forms. The voluntary template was created by FINRA with input from senior industry professionals and other regulators.
In developing the template, FINRA worked with a firm that specializes in presenting investor information in a clear, intuitive format to assist in the design of the application form. Some of the significant features of the template include:
FINRA has posted two separate versions of the voluntary template (in both Word and PDF formats): a template that incorporates all of the sections FINRA developed and a shorter version that demonstrates how a firm that gathers additional background information from customers after account opening could customize the template.
This voluntary template can be customized, so that firms can modify the form to meet their own branding, business practices and operational requirements. (See more information about customizing the template.) Firms that choose to use this voluntary template may use it in its entirety or choose selected portions or language.
This voluntary template is intended to serve as an example of the type of application that brokerage firms may provide to their customers. This template addresses individual and joint accounts only. Firms are under no regulatory obligation to use either version of the template, in whole or in part. FINRA recognizes that firms may continue to use their proprietary application forms, methods and processes, as long as they meet all applicable regulatory requirements.
Please note that use of the voluntary template in whole or in part does not guarantee compliance with or create any safe harbor with respect to FINRA Rules, the federal securities laws or state laws. Firms are responsible for ensuring that they comply with all regulatory requirements (including, but not limited to, applicable information-gathering and disclosure obligations). In that regard, you might need to tailor the new account application template to fit your particular firm's situation.
We hope that by providing this sample template, firms will benefit from being able to create easy-to-use, easy-to-read, plain-English new account forms.
Questions should be directed to Kavita Jain, Director, Office of Emerging Regulatory Issues, at (202) 728-8128, or by email.