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FINRA Announces Closure of the OTC Bulletin Board

October 27, 2021
Volume 43

 
 
guidance

Guidance
  • Regulatory Notices
  • UPC Advisories
upcoming

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

Education and Compliance Programs


The 2021 Small Firm Virtual Conference is this Thursday, October 28. Register today to join us virtually to discuss small firm topics with FINRA senior staff. Highlights include detailed exchanges on industry and regulatory updates, and the opportunity for participants to share insights and effective practices. View the brochure for detailed session descriptions and speakers.
 

 Guidance

The National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) Revises the Sanction Guidelines

In Regulatory Notice 21-37, the NAC announced revised FINRA Sanction Guidelines that incorporate a new guideline for violations of the Consolidated Audit Trail System (CAT) industry member compliance rules. The revised Sanction Guidelines are effective immediately and available on FINRA’s website.

FINRA Announces Closure of the OTC Bulletin Board

In Regulatory Notice 21-38, FINRA announced that it will cease operation of the OTC Bulletin Board (OTCBB)—a FINRA-operated inter-dealer quotation system—and delete the OTCBB-related rules from the FINRA rulebook on November 8, 2021. Members and vendors should plan to eliminate OTCBB-related connections immediately. Technical questions regarding these changes can be sent to [email protected] or (866) 899-2107.

UPC Advisories

The following UPC Advisories were published in the last week:

  • UPC #108-21: Bank of America (BOAPL)
  • UPC #109-21: Washington Prime Group Inc (WPGGQ, WPGHQ, WPGIQ)

 Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates

FINRA Requests for Comment

FINRA requests comment in Regulatory Notice 21-32 on a proposed change to its current policy relating to the assignment of OTC symbols to unlisted equity securities. Specifically, FINRA is considering whether it should begin assigning OTC symbols to unlisted equity securities that do not have a valid CUSIP identifier, in the limited circumstance where a member firm demonstrates its best efforts to obtain a CUSIP identifier and provides documentation to identify the security. Comments are requested by November 15, 2021.

FINRA requests comment in Regulatory Notice 21-35 on a proposal to require members to publish quarterly order routing disclosure reports for held orders in OTC Equity Securities. The proposed new quarterly reports would be similar to those required for NMS stocks under the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Rule 606(a) of Regulation NMS, with certain modifications reflecting the different structure of the OTC market. FINRA also requests input on possible steps to further facilitate investor access and understanding of current order routing disclosures for NMS securities. Comments are requested by December 6, 2021.

SEC Request for Comment

The SEC requests comment on FINRA’s proposal to amend Rule 2231 (Customer Account Statements) to, among other things, (a) add new supplementary materials pertaining to compliance with Rule 4311 (Carrying Agreements), the transmission of customer account statements to other persons or entities, the use of electronic media to satisfy delivery obligations, and compliance with Rule 3150 (Holding of Customer Mail); and (b) incorporate without substantive change specified provisions derived from Temporary Dual FINRA-NYSE Rule Interpretation 409T (Statements of Accounts to Customers) pertaining to information disclosed on customer account statements, externally held assets, use of logos and trademarks, and use of summary statements. Comments are due October 27, 2021. See the Federal Register notice.

FINRA Elections

FINRA has issued two Election Notices to notify firms of elections to fill vacancies on various FINRA Committees. Election Notice 10/19/21 notifies firms of elections for FINRA Regional Committees and the mailing of ballots to eligible firms. The second, Election Notice 10/19/21, notifies FINRA small firm members of the process to fill one North and one West Region vacancy on the Small Firm Advisory Committee. Ballots are due by Thursday, November 18, 2021.
 

 Education and Compliance Programs

Register today for the virtual Trading and Execution Member Forum on November 10 and the virtual Retail Member Forum on December 9. 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.

View the latest on-demand sessions from the Capital Markets and Investment Banking Member Forum and the Ask FINRA Advertising Regulation Senior Staff Webinar. On-demand sessions are available for FINRA member firms and CRCP® graduates.

Register for all of FINRA’s upcoming events:

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Regulatory Contacts
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Firms wishing to change the name or email address of their executive representative or designated assistant should do so through the FINRA Contact System (FCS). See
http://www.finra.org/FCS for further information. Requests from executive representatives to be removed from this email notification list cannot be honored.

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