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FINRA Dispute Resolution Services To Reopen 62 of 69 Hearing Locations in July

May 12, 2021
Volume 19

 
 
guidance

Guidance
  • Regulatory Notice
  • Technical Notice
  • UPC Advisories
upcoming

Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates
  • FINRA Requests for Comment
education

Education and Compliance Programs

Coronavirus impact on arbitration hearings. Beginning July 5, 2021, FINRA Dispute Resolution Services (DRS) will reopen all of its hearing locations for in-person arbitration and mediation proceedings except for the following: Augusta, Boca Raton, Buffalo, Detroit, Philadelphia, Providence and Wilmington. FINRA DRS has postponed all in-person proceedings in these seven locations through July 30, 2021.
 

Last week, FINRA CEO Robert Cook testified before the House Financial Services Committee to discuss the role FINRA plays in the regulation of broker-dealers and share FINRA’s response to the January market events related to trading in GameStop and other stocks. Read the prepared testimony.
 

Enhanced Form U5 filing capabilities available May 17. On May 17, firms can begin using the enhanced Form U5 filing experience in FINRA Gateway. Classic CRD will also continue to support Form U5 filing functionality through August 21, 2021. Firms are encouraged to begin using FINRA Gateway to draft Form U5 and provide feedback about the feature to FINRA. The enhanced filing experience provides notifications about other relationships with the firm that may require updating. It also allows filers to toggle between U5 filing types (partial and full) if necessary. For more information, see the Enhanced Form U5 Webinar Recording and the Form U5 page.
 

In July 2020, FINRA formed a Racial Justice Task Force to help identify practical and meaningful steps that we can take to advance racial justice, foster greater inclusiveness and eliminate prejudice in all forms. View the new Racial Justice Task Force page on FINRA.org to learn more about FINRA’s efforts and commitment to action.
 

Consolidated Audit Trail, LLC and FINRA CAT, LLC have published a new document to the CAT website entitled Small Firm Roadmap to December 13, 2021. The purpose of this document is to provide a roadmap to help Small Firms meet their CAT reporting obligations for CAT Reportable Securities by the compliance date of December 13, 2021. A webinar has been scheduled for Thursday, June 10, at 11 a.m. ET to review the roadmap.
 



The 2021 FINRA Annual Conference is next week! Join us virtually on May 18-20 as practitioners, peers and regulators exchange ideas on timely compliance and regulatory topics including FINRA’s Examination and Risk Monitoring Program, Compliance Challenges in a Remote Working World, Regulation Best Interest and Form CRS, and more!
 

 Guidance

FINRA Shares Practices Firms Use to Protect Customers From Online Account Takeover Attempts

FINRA has received an increasing number of reports regarding customer account takeover (ATO) incidents, which involve bad actors using compromised customer information, such as login credentials, to gain unauthorized entry to customers’ online brokerage accounts. Regulatory Notice 21-18 outlines the recent increase in ATO incidents; reiterates firms’ regulatory obligations to protect customer information; and discusses common challenges firms identified in safeguarding customer accounts against ATO attacks, as well as practices they find effective in mitigating risks from ATOs—including recent innovations—which firms may consider for their cybersecurity programs. This Notice does not create new legal or regulatory requirements, or new interpretations of existing requirements.

FINRA Delays Effective Date of TRACE Dissemination Changes for Specified Pool Transactions

FINRA is extending the effective date of changes to TRACE dissemination protocols applicable to agency pass-through mortgage-backed securities and SBA-backed asset-backed securities traded in specified pool transactions. Beginning on July 26, 2021, FINRA is modifying the convention for rounding one underlying data element – the original LTV ratio – for purposes of the groupings that are represented by the Reference Data Identifiers disseminated through TRACE for specified pool transactions. This change does not alter member trade reporting obligations and will not necessitate any technological changes by firms. For additional information about dissemination of specified pool transactions, contact TRACE Data Services at (888) 507-3665.

UPC Advisories

The following UPC Advisories were published in the last week:

  • UPC #23-21: Emergent Capital, Inc (EMGCQ)
  • UPC #24-21: Diamond Offshore Drilling, Inc (DOFSQ)
  • UPC #25-21: Garrett Motion Inc (GTXMQ)
  • UPC #26-21: Aberdeen Income Credit Strategies Fund (ACPPP)
  • UPC #27-21: Aberdeen Income Credit Strategies Fund (ACPPP)

 Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates

FINRA Requests for Comment

FINRA seeks comment on proposed amendments to Rule 4210 (Margin Requirements) that would clarify and incorporate into the rule current interpretations regarding when issued and other extended settlement transactions, and provide relief to facilitate the application of the rule to these transactions. See Regulatory Notice 21-11 for the proposed rule text and additional information. The comment period expires May 14, 2021.

FINRA seeks comment on any aspects of our rules, operations and administrative processes that may create unintended barriers to greater diversity and inclusion in the broker-dealer industry or that might have unintended disparate impacts on those within the industry. See Regulatory Notice 21-17 for additional information. The comment period expires June 28, 2021.
 

 Education and Compliance Programs

Register today for the 2021 Virtual Technology Conference on June 23. This conference showcases the latest technology offerings to our member firms. Technology is transforming the Financial Services industry and FINRA is dedicated to supplying our members with innovative technology designed to protect investors and ensure market integrity.

Register for the Diversified and Carrying & Clearing Member Forum on July 13. Firm Grouping Member Forums are free one-day events designed to provide financial professionals associated with FINRA member firms the opportunity to engage in key discussions with FINRA staff and connect with industry leaders and peers. The forums also include thoughtful discussions around the future landscape of the financial services industry and provide opportunities to meet one-on-one with FINRA Risk Monitoring Analysts, Directors, and Single Points of Accountability to discuss firm-specific questions.

Register for these upcoming FINRA events:

  • FINRA Institute at Georgetown Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional Program
    Week I Waitlist | July 18-23, 2021 | Online
  • Advertising Regulation Conference |
    October 14-15, 2021 | Washington, DC
  • Small Firm Conference | October 27-28, 2021 |
    Santa Monica, CA
  • FINRA Institute at Georgetown Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional® Program
    Week II | November 14-19, 2021 | Online + In-Person

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