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New Form U4 Online Filing Experience Available October 31

September 23, 2020
Volume 38

 
 
guidance

Guidance
  • Regulatory Notice
  • UPC Advisories
upcoming

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

Education and Compliance Programs

FINRA’s Board of Governors met virtually on September 9 and 10. During the meeting, the Board approved two rulemaking items, and received updates on FINRA’s operations, including the Examination and Risk Monitoring Program Transformation and the Market Regulation Enforcement program. To learn more, watch the Board Report video.

New online filing experience for Form U4 will be available October 31. Based on firm feedback, we are providing additional time for firms to prepare to use the new online filing experience for Form U4 within FINRA Gateway. We will also continue to support all online filing functionality in classic CRD during this time. For more information, visit our website.

Registration is coming soon for the 2020 Small Firm Virtual Conference! This one-day conference will be held online on October 28 and will focus on effective practices and tips for complying with FINRA rules – from the unique perspective of small firms. The conference will bring together experts, executives and policymakers to share their specialized knowledge and experiences. PLUS – Don’t miss our virtual Office Hours and networking opportunities.

New e-learning course on Regulation Best Interest. FINRA’s newest e-learning course is designed to provide information on the SEC’s new Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) to registered representatives and their supervisors while closely reviewing the text of the rule. While broker-dealers who make securities recommendations to retail customers are required to adopt policies and procedures to comply with Reg BI, there are also direct compliance requirements for registered representatives, and this course will provide them and their supervisors with information about their respective obligations under the rule. The course is eligible for 1 CFP CE credit.



FINRA has announced that Michael Rufino will leave the organization at the end of this year after more than 32 years of dedicated service protecting investors and ensuring market integrity. Rufino most recently served as Head of Member Regulation (Sales Practice), where he guided and oversaw FINRA’s Sales Practice Examination, Risk Monitoring and Membership Application Programs in 14 District offices.
 

 Guidance

FINRA Reminds Firms to Be Aware of Fraudulent Options Trading in Connection With Potential Account Takeovers and New Account Fraud

FINRA has recently observed an increase in fraudulent options trading being facilitated by (1) account takeover schemes (sometimes referred to as account intrusions), through which a bad actor gains unauthorized entry to a customer’s brokerage account; and (2) the use of new account fraud by a bad actor who fraudulently establishes a brokerage account through identity theft. Regulatory Notice 20-32 provides member firms and associated persons with information regarding options transactions in connection with these account takeover and new account fraud schemes to help identify, prevent and respond to such activity.

UPC Advisories

The following UPC Advisories were published in the last week:

  • UPC #34-20: Hornbeck Offshore Services, Inc. (HOSSQ)
  • UPC #35-20: Rosehill Resources, Inc. (ROSEQ, ROSWQ, ROSUQ)
  • UPC #36-20: Ultra Petroleum Corp. (UPLCQ)
  • UPC #37-20: Denbury Resources, Inc. (DNRCQ)

Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates

FINRA Requests for Comment

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 requests comment in Regulatory Notice 20-33 on proposed formal procedures for bringing actions against non-associated persons who cheat or misbehave during a FINRA qualification examination. The proposed formal procedures—a new expedited proceeding rule—would also strengthen the existing processes for responding to cheating and misbehavior by associated persons during a FINRA qualification examination. FINRA also is proposing related amendments to FINRA’s registration requirements rule and eligibility proceedings rules. The comment period expires November 23, 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.

Election Notice 9/1/2020 informs small FINRA member firms of the upcoming Small Firm Advisory Committee (SFAC) election. Two seats on the SFAC are up for election, one representing the South region and one representing the Midwest region. Any eligible candidate who wants to be included on the ballot must submit the relevant information via the candidate profile form to FINRA’s Office of the Corporate Secretary by October 1, 2020.

Election Notice 9/1/2020 informs member firms of the upcoming nomination and election process to fill vacancies on FINRA’s Regional Committees. In this election, Regional Committees for the South and West regions each have six full-term vacancies, and the Midwest, North and New York regions each have four full-term vacancies to fill. Eligible candidates will be included on the appropriate ballot if they submit a candidate profile form to FINRA’s Corporate Secretary by October 1, 2020.
 

 Education and Compliance Programs

On September 29, 2020, from 1-2 p.m. Eastern Time, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation and its partner, The National Center for Victims of Crime, will be hosting a webinar entitled “Social Distancing and Financial Exploitation: The Impact on Older Adults”. Please join the discussion on emerging research surrounding the potential implications of isolation on financial decision making, fraud vulnerability, and cognition among older adults. Register today!

FINRA's virtual conference panels provide a unique opportunity to hear the most up-to-date compliance information directly from industry and regulatory leaders right from the comfort of your home. Watch the latest panel on Supervision of High-Risk Activities. Attend this session to hear FINRA staff and industry practitioners discuss practical examples of high-risk conduct and supervisory practices.

Reserve your spot at FINRA’s premier event, the 2021 Annual Conference. This conference takes place on May 18-20, 2021, in Washington, DC and provides the opportunity for practitioners, peers and regulators to exchange ideas on today's most timely compliance and regulatory topics. Register today to receive the maximum discount on conference registration rates.

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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