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Fraudsters Using Registered Representatives Names to Establish Imposter Websites

August 26, 2020
Volume 34

 
 
guidance

Guidance
  • Regulatory Notice
upcoming

Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates
  • FINRA Requests for Comment
  • FINRA Elections
education

Education and Compliance Programs

In response to COVID-19, FINRA has administratively postponed all in-person arbitration and mediation proceedings scheduled through October 30, 2020, unless the parties stipulate to proceed telephonically or by Zoom or the panel orders that the hearings will take place telephonically or by Zoom. Additionally, the Office of Hearing Officers has postponed all in-person hearings of disciplinary proceedings scheduled through October 2, 2020. Disciplinary hearings scheduled to occur after October 2, 2020, will be assessed on a case-by-case basis to determine if FINRA will conduct or further postpone each individual hearing. For more information, visit FINRA’s website.



FINRA continues to recognize the ongoing challenges our test candidates face during this COVID-19 pandemic and will extend all enrollment windows that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16 and September 2020. FINRA, NASAA and MSRB exam enrollment end dates will be extended through the same end date of September 30, 2020. FINRA, NASAA and MSRB will continue to assess this situation and consider whether any additional extension of their exam enrollment windows is necessary.
 

 Guidance

Fraudsters Using Registered Representatives Names to Establish Imposter Websites

Several firms have recently informed FINRA that malicious actors are using registered representatives’ names and other information to establish websites (“imposter websites”) that appear to be the representatives’ personal sites and are also calling and directing potential customers to use these imposter websites. Imposters may be using these sites to collect personal information from the potential customers with the likely end goal of committing financial fraud. Regulatory Notice 20-30 describes certain common characteristics of these sites and actions firms and registered representatives can take to monitor for and address these sites.

 

Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates

FINRA Requests for Comment

FINRA encourages comments on its recent paper on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the Securities Industry, including areas where guidance or modifications to FINRA rules may be desired to support adoption of AI applications while maintaining investor protection and market integrity. Comments are requested by August 31, 2020.

FINRA requests comment in Regulatory Notice 20-24 on two proposed changes to the TRACE reporting rules that were recommended by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee. The proposed changes would require firms to: (1) identify corporate bond trades where the price of the trade is based on a spread to a benchmark Treasury security that was agreed upon earlier in the day (i.e., a “delayed Treasury spot trade”) and report the time at which the spread was agreed upon; and (2) identify corporate bond trades that are a part of a larger portfolio trade.
The comment period expires September 14, 2020.

FINRA requests comment in Regulatory Notice 20-29 on the practice of “pennying” in the corporate bond market. Consistent with a recommendation from the SEC’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee (FIMSAC) and a similar request for comment published by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), FINRA is soliciting comment on how to define or identify pennying, how pennying impacts market quality and whether further regulatory action would be appropriate.
The comment period expires October 16, 2020.

FINRA Elections

Election Notice 8/17/2020 notifies members of an upcoming election to fill two large firm seats and one small firm seat on the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), and to announce the FINRA Nominating & Governance Committee nominees for these vacancies. Eligible individuals not nominated by the Nominating Committee who obtain the requisite number of valid petitions may be included as candidates on the ballot by following the petition procedures described in the Notice. Petitions for candidacy are due October 1, 2020.
 

 Education and Compliance Programs

Registration is open for the 2021 FINRA Institute at Georgetown Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP)® Program. Week I takes place on July 18-23, 2021, and Week II takes place on November 14-19, 2021.Take advantage of our new reduced registration rates and gain your CRCP designation.
 

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Regulatory Contacts
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