CAT FAQ for Small Firms

Q1. My firm has been granted an exemption from both the recording and reporting requirements of the OATS Rules and does not currently have an obligation to report to OATS. Does my firm’s OATS exemption extend to the Consolidated Audit Trail (“CAT”) recording and reporting requirements?
A1. No. Neither SEC Rule 613 nor the CAT NMS Plan provide exemptive relief to any class of broker-dealers. As such, all firms, including those that meet the definition of a “Small” broker-dealer under Rule 613 and the CAT NMS Plan will be required to fully comply with the CAT recording and reporting requirements.
Q2. My firm is currently excluded from the definition of an OATS Reporting Member firm because it routes all of its orders on a non-discretionary basis to our clearing firm, who is an OATS Reporting Member. Will my firm have an obligation to report to CAT?
A2. Yes. Neither SEC Rule 613 nor the CAT NMS Plan provide any type of exclusions from the recording and reporting obligations of CAT to any class of broker-dealers. As such, all firms, including those that are currently excluded from the definition of OATS Reporting Member because they route 100% of their orders to an OATS Reporting Member on a non-discretionary basis, will be required to fully comply with the CAT recording and reporting requirements.
Q3. Where can I get additional information on CAT regarding implementation dates, definitions of Large and Small broker-dealers and reporting requirements?
A3. Firms may obtain additional information regarding the Consolidated Audit Trail at the following website: www.catnmsplan.com. FINRA member firms may also contact the OATS Helpdesk at 1-800-321-6273 with questions regarding their CAT obligations as a FINRA member.