Regulatory Notice 19-17
FINRA Requests Comment on Proposed New Rule 4111 (Restricted Firm Obligations) Imposing Additional Obligations on Firms with a Significant History of Misconduct
As part of FINRA’s ongoing initiatives to protect investors from misconduct, FINRA is requesting comment on proposed new Rule 4111 (Restricted Firm Obligations) that would impose tailored obligations, including possible financial requirements, on designated member firms that cross specified numeric disclosure-event thresholds. These thresholds were developed through a thorough analysis and are based on the number of events at similarly sized peers. The member firms that could be subject to these obligations, while small in number, present heightened risk of harm to investors and their activities may undermine confidence in the securities markets as a whole. The proposal would further promote investor protection and market integrity and give FINRA another tool to incentivize member firms to comply with regulatory requirements and to pay arbitration awards.
FINRA is requesting comment on:
- proposed new Rule 4111 (Restricted Firm Obligations), which would authorize FINRA to require “Restricted Firms,” identified by a multi-step process involving threshold calculations, to make deposits of cash or qualified securities that could not be withdrawn without FINRA’s prior written consent, adhere to other conditions or restrictions on the member’s operations that are necessary or appropriate for the protection of investors and in the public interest, or be subject to some combination of those obligations; and
- proposed new Rule 9559 (Procedures for Regulating Activities Under Rule 4111) (new Rule 9559) and amendments to existing Rule 9559 (Hearing Procedures for Expedited Proceedings Under the Rule 9550 Series) to be renumbered as Rule 9560 (Rule 9560 or the Hearing Procedures Rule) to create an expedited proceeding that allows a prompt review of the determinations under the Restricted Firm Obligations Rule and grants a member a right to challenge any obligations imposed.
The proposed rule text is available in Attachment A. A flow chart describing proposed Rule 4111 is available in Attachment B. A chart presenting examples of restricted deposit requirements is available as Attachment C. The attachments referenced in the Economic Impact Assessment are available in Attachment D (Attachments D-1, D-2 and D-3).
Questions concerning this Notice should be directed to:
- Kosha Dalal, Associate Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Office of General Counsel (OGC), at (202) 728-6903; or
- Michael Garawski, Associate General Counsel, OGC, at (202) 728-8835.
Questions concerning the Economic Impact Assessment in this Notice should be directed to:
- Jonathan Sokobin, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist, Office of the Chief Economist (OCE), at (202) 728-8248; or
- Hammad Qureshi, Senior Economist, OCE, at (202) 728-8150.