FINRA's new account opening template is customizable so that firms can make the form their own. As firms customize the template, they should consider their own branding, business practices and operational requirements.
Following are some specific suggestions around customization.
Firms customizing the Word version should save it on a desktop or server before and after making all desired changes, which can be made using the same steps as editing any Word document. Firms customizing the PDF template can use Adobe Acrobat Professional (versions 8.0, 8.1 or 9.0) and use the Application's toolbar to make all desired edits. For more information about editing the PDF, please see Adobe’s Web site.
- Insert your firm's logo on the first page, replacing the "dummy logo" (ABZ) on the top, left-hand corner.
- If your firm uses a number to track forms, you may insert your form number on the bottom right corner of each page.
- Delete any sections that your firm does not require or wish to include, and add any new sections you think should be included.
- Specific areas that firms should review and customize:
- Under the "Getting Started" section, replace the last bullet with any additional documents or information that your firm may collect.
- Under the "Select An Account" section, add any other account types that your firm may offer. Please ensure that you collect all required information and provide all required disclosures for various account types.
- Under the "Financial Background" section, firms can choose alternative ranges for income, net worth and expenses as long as they reasonably provide a wide range of choices that are meaningful to both the customer and the firm.
- Under Section 5—"Tell Us How You Want To Work With Us"—add any other account features that your firm may offer, such as check writing services, debit/credit cards and cash management programs.
- In the "Margin" section, insert any firm policies you may have on how trades are handled if there are insufficient funds for margin or cash accounts.
- In the "Managing Your Cash" section, please specify the default cash management program your firm follows.
- If your firm uses Pre-Dispute Arbitration, please insert the required clause in the indicated area before the signature section.
- Update your firm's contact information at the end of the form. Insert a section for principal approval, a registered representative signature, routing reference and any other information your firm's new account opening procedures require.
- Attach all relevant disclosures, agreements and other required information as part of their new account opening process, such as margin or options agreements, disclosure of identity to issuers, privacy policies, business continuity plans, etc.
Please ensure that your final form meets all regulatory requirements.