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FINRA Publishes Update on Sweep: Special Purpose Acquisition Companies

October 4, 2023
Volume 40




Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates


Education and Compliance Programs


FINRA published the Update on Sweep: Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs)—a follow-up to the October 2021 targeted exam (sweep) of firms’ offering of, and services provided to, Special Purpose Acquisition Companies (SPACs) and their affiliates (e.g., sponsors, principal stockholders, board members, and related parties). The interim update poses several questions for firms to consider as they evaluate whether their supervisory systems are reasonably designed to address risks of their SPAC-related activities. In addition, the update shares additional guidance FINRA has provided regarding member firms’ obligations.

The sweep update builds upon FINRA’s ongoing commitment to provide transparency to member firms about our regulatory programs and initiatives, such as sweeps, to help them assess their compliance programs and address areas of concern.



Tune in to the latest episode of the FINRA Unscripted podcast. On this episode, we hear about how the MAP program kicked off a significant transformation in spring 2022, and where that initiative stands today. Listen to the podcast.


FINRA and the CE Council have published the 2024 Regulatory Element topics on FINRA’s website. Annual CE Learning plans can be viewed by selecting the desired registration category, or group of registrations, and the year. Topics are published, in part, to help firms coordinate their overall training programs with the Regulatory Element. Each firm should determine the best way to incorporate this information into their training program based on their business activities and training needs. FINRA reminds firms that registered persons are required to complete the Regulatory Element annually by Dec. 31 for each registration they hold.

Reminder—Call for Candidates: FINRA recently issued two Election Notices calling for candidates for upcoming Regional Committee and the Small Firm Advisory Committee (SFAC) elections. We encourage all interested parties, if eligible, to run. See each Election Notice for details on the process. The deadline to submit a Candidate Profile Form is October
 11, 2023.

In addition, FINRA recently published Election Notice 9/25/2023 to notify members of an upcoming election to fill two large firm seats and one mid-size firm seat on the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC), announce the FINRA Nominating & Governance Committee (Nominating Committee) nominees for these vacancies, and describe the procedures to be included as an additional candidate on the ballot.

FINRA filed for immediate effectiveness a proposed rule change with the SEC to extend temporary Rule 3110.17, the supplementary material allowing remote inspections under the terms specified therein, to include calendar year 2024 inspection obligations through the earlier of the effective date of the remote inspections pilot program proposed in File No. SR-FINRA-2023-007, if approved, or June 30, 2024, within the scope of the supplementary material.

FINRA Advisory on SEC Cybersecurity Rules for Public Companies – FINRA is highlighting the new SEC rules on Cybersecurity Risk Management, Strategy, Governance, and Incident Disclosure that apply to public companies. The new SEC rules require, among other things, public companies to disclose material cybersecurity incidents on Form 8-K and the periodic disclosure of a public company’s cybersecurity risk management, strategy and governance in annual reports.


 Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates

Web EFT Retires November 2024
This is a reminder to firms using the legacy Web EFT service that effective November 15, 2024, all associated XML file upload and download functionality will be completely retired. Current Web EFT subscribers wishing to continue making automated data transfers with FINRA must transition to using the new FINRA API platform. Key milestones and frequently asked questions are on the platform’s Web EFT Sunset page.

 Education and Compliance Programs

Last call for the final In-Person Registration Systems Foundation Training of the year in Columbus, OH. This in-person training is designed for compliance personnel at member firms who want to become more familiar with navigating FINRA Gateway and submitting Uniform Forms.

FINRA’s Small Firm Conference is in three weeks. Don’t miss this exclusive event that focuses on small firms’ practices and tips for complying with FINRA rules. Throughout the event, attendees have the opportunity to network with FINRA senior staff and peers from the small firm community.

Register now and save! Join us at FINRA’s premier event, the 2024 Annual Conference, to connect and network with industry peers, engage in informal conversations with FINRA senior leaders and exchange diverse perspectives on the timeliest compliance and regulatory topics.

Register for all of FINRA’s upcoming events:

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Regulatory Contacts
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