Books and Records

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) in 2001 adopted amendments to its books and records rules—Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4—to clarify and expand firm recordkeeping requirements that cover purchase and sale documents, customer records, associated person records, customer complaint records and certain other matters.

The rule amendments, which became effective in 2003, also require firms to maintain or promptly produce certain records at each office to which those records relate.

Here are some of the records the SEC amendments require firms to make, among others.

  • Order tickets
  • Customer accounts
  • Customer complaints of associated persons
  • Associated person identification numbers
  • Associated person compensation
  • A list of principals of the firm
  • Office records

In addition, the SEC rules require firms to furnish each customer who opens an account with a copy of the account record within 30 days of the opening of the account, and at least every 36 months after that. The account record includes the customer’s personal information, annual income and net worth, as well as the customer’s investment objectives.

Records Firms Must Preserve

The SEC also requires firms to maintain and preserve the following records.

  • Communications with the public, including all communications received and sent relating to the firm’s business.
  • Organizational documents, such as all partnership articles or, if a corporation, all articles of incorporation or charter, including minute books and stock certificate books, among others.
  • Special reports, such as each report that a securities regulatory authority has requested or required a firm to make and furnish pursuant to an order or settlement.
  • Compliance, supervisory and procedures manuals, including any updates, modifications and revisions to each manual.
  • Exception reports produced to review unusual activity in customer accounts.
Titlesort descendingTypeDate
Comparison of the AML Customer Identification Rule and the SEC’s Books & Records Customer Account Records Rule09-01-2003
SEC Interpretive Release: Books and Records Requirements for Brokers and Dealers Under the Securities Exchange Act of 193405-29-2003
SEC Release 34-44992A: Correction to a Final Rule: Books and Records Requirements for Brokers and Dealers Under the Securities Exchange Act of 193405-02-2003
Broker/Dealer Books and Records Recordkeeping Requirements Checklist05-01-2003
NASD Workshop For Members: Books & Records Amendments Telephone Transcript 04-10-2003
The Next Phase: Implementing the Patriot Act by Lori Richards, Director, SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations
Implementing the Patriot Act by Lori Richards, Director, SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations
03-27-2003
Remarks by Mary Ann Gadziala at Books and Records Compliance Countdown
Associate Director, Securities and Exchange Commission, at Books and Records Compliance Countdown
03-24-2003
Regulatory & Compliance Alert- Summer 200206-01-2002
Notice to Members 01-8012-01-2001
SEC Release 34-44992: Books and Records Requirements for Broker and Dealers Under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, 66 Fed. Reg. 55,81811-02-2001
SEC Amendments to Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4 of the Securities Exchange Act of 193410-25-2001
NASAA statement on SEC approval of new books and records rules
This document includes a link to comments delivered on behalf of NASAA by Don Saxon, director of the Florida Department of Banking and Finance’s Securities Division, at the SEC Open Meeting on October 25, 2001.
10-25-2001
SEC Books and Records Amendments- FAQs10-25-2001