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FINRA’s 2020 Entitlement User Accounts Certification Period Begins April 20

April 15, 2020
Volume 15

 
 
guidance

Guidance
  • Regulatory Notice
  • UPC Advisories
disciplinary actions

Disciplinary Actions

 
upcoming

Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates
  • FINRA Requests for Comment
  • SEC Requests for Comment on FINRA Rules
education

Education and Compliance Programs

Tune in to the FINRA Unscripted podcast to hear FINRA leaders review existing and emerging regulatory topics that impact the broker-dealer industry, as well as other insights into the operations of FINRA.

On this episode, we celebrate the five-year anniversary of the FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors with a look at how the Helpline has helped senior investors, notable trends and how the Helpline has evolved over the last five years. Listen to the podcast.

 


FINRA’s 2020 Entitlement User Accounts Certification Period is April 20 – July 20. FINRA's Annual User Accounts Certification Process begins Monday, April 20, 2020. During this period, Super Account Administrators (SAAs) for organizations with more than one user and/or administrator account must certify that individuals have the appropriate level of access to FINRA systems required to perform their job responsibilities or remove access if no longer required. This year, organizations with only an SAA account and no other users or administrators have the option to certify but are not required. For detailed information, refer to the Annual Entitlement User Accounts Certification Process page.
 



FINRA is committed to providing guidance, updates and other information to help stakeholders stay informed about the latest COVID-19 developments. This week, FINRA:

  • Provided additional temporary relief to member firms in new frequently asked questions. Topics addressed include fingerprinting for non-registered associated persons and the Paycheck Protection Program. The relief provided does not extend beyond the identified rules and requirements.
     
  • Added to the State "Shelter-in-Place" and "Stay-at-Home" Orders page information about the termination dates of the orders, as many have been extended.
To discuss the latest updates, and other coronavirus-related issues, senior FINRA leaders are hosting a Small Firm Conference Call on Thursday, April 23, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. Space on the call is limited, so register today!

FINRA will continue to consider additional relief or adjustments as appropriate. For all of FINRA’s latest COVID-19 updates and answers to frequently asked questions, visit FINRA’s website.
 

 Guidance

FINRA Amends Arbitration Code to Expand Options Available to Customers if a Firm or Associated Person Is or Becomes Inactive

FINRA amended its Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes to expand a customer’s options to withdraw an arbitration claim if a member firm or an associated person becomes inactive. These amendments also allow customers to amend pleadings, postpone hearings, request default proceedings and receive a refund of filing fees in these situations. The amendments, outlined in Regulatory Notice 20-11, are effective for cases filed on or after June 29, 2020.

UPC Advisories

The following UPC Advisories were published in the last week:

  • UPC #10-20: Zoom Technologies, Inc. (ZOOM) TRADING HALT & SYMBOL CHANGE TO (ZTNO)
  • UPC #11-20: Opp Liquidating Co, Inc (f/k/a Orchids Paper Products Co. (TISUQ)
  • UPC #12-20: Zoom Technologies, Inc. (ZOOM) TRADING HALT & SYMBOL CHANGE TO (ZTNO)
  Disciplinary Actions

FINRA publishes disciplinary actions to remind registered representatives and firms of specific conduct that violates FINRA rules and may result in disciplinary action. FINRA posted the following disciplinary item on the website this week:

 Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates

FINRA Requests for Comment

FINRA’s Capital Acquisition Broker (CAB) rules provide a simplified rulebook for broker-dealers that engage only in limited capital advisory, corporate restructuring and private placement activities. FINRA is requesting comment on proposed amendments to the CAB rules, as described in Regulatory Notice 20-04, to make them more useful to CABs without reducing investor protection. The comment period has been extended to May 15, 2020.

FINRA is requesting comment on a proposal to implement the recommendations of the CE Council regarding enhancements to the continuing education requirements for securities industry professionals. The proposal, described in Regulatory Notice 20-05, would change the: (1) Regulatory Element to provide annual training, make the content more relevant, incorporate diverse instructional formats, publicize the learning topics in advance and enhance the related management systems; (2) Firm Element to expressly recognize other training requirements, improve the guidance and resources available to firms and establish a content catalog; and (3) Continuing Education Program to enable individuals who terminate their registrations the option of maintaining their qualification by completing continuing education. The comment period has been extended to May 31, 2020.

SEC Requests for Comment on FINRA Rules

The SEC requests comment on FINRA’s proposed rule change to, among other things: (1) amend the FINRA and Capital Acquisition Broker (“CAB”) suitability rules to state that the rules do not apply to recommendations subject to Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”); and (2) conform the rules governing non-cash compensation to Reg BI’s limitations on sales contests, sales quotas, bonuses and non-cash compensation. The comment period expires April 15, 2020. See the Federal Register notice.

The SEC requests comment on FINRA’s proposal to amend FINRA rules to address brokers with a significant history of misconduct. The comment period expires May 5, 2020. See the Federal Register notice.
 

 Education and Compliance Programs

Registration is open for the 2020 Small Firm Conference. The event will be held on November 11–12 in Santa Monica, California, and will bring together FINRA staff and industry peers for in-depth discussions on small firms' practices. Register early to receive discounted registration rates!


Save the Date for these upcoming FINRA events:

  • FINRA Institute at Georgetown Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional® Program – Week I | July 19–24, 2020 | Washington, DC
  • FINRA Institute at Georgetown Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional® Program – Week II | November 15–20, 2020 | Washington, DC

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