Webinar: Enhanced U4 Filing Experience
New FINRA Gateway U4 Online Filing Experience Available October 31
Based on firm feedback and in our continued efforts to deliver the most positive user experience, we are adjusting the previously announced launch of the online filing experience for Form U4 from October 5 to October 31. We will also continue to support all online filing functionality in classic CRD during this time. For complete information, see the Registration Filing in FINRA Gateway page.
Learn More About the Enhanced U4 Filing Experience
FINRA is launching an enhanced Form U4 filing experience for all firms on October 5, 2020. The benefits of these enhancements include: a more intuitive user experience, improved data quality and streamlined collaboration between firms and their registered representatives. Please review the webinar recording available on this page for a demonstration of the enhanced experience that will be available in October, as well as the frequently asked questions below. As additional webinars are scheduled, the dates and times will be posted to this page.
Subscribe to the FINRA Registration and Licensing email list if you would like to receive notifications of future webinars and other announcements. See the FINRA Webinars page for information about other FINRA Systems programming.
Enhanced U4 Webinar Presentation Slides - June 2020
Enhanced U4 FAQ
1. What is the objective of FINRA's filing experience enhancements?
To make it easier for firm compliance and registration staff to meet registration filing requirements, as well as reduce the learning curve for new financial professionals. We heard from firms there was room to improve the workflow for small amendments and bulk changes, so we are developing tools to handle these items more efficiently. In addition to improving the filing experience, we hope it will encourage more accurate, complete and timely submissions, thereby reducing unnecessary (and sometimes costly) resubmissions. Additionally, the investing public who look to BrokerCheck and IAPD for registration information will benefit from more complete and accurate data.
2. What will change with the enhanced U4?
The legal Form U4 will not change as part of this release. Instead, FINRA has focused on improving the following aspects of the online filing experience for system users:
- fully integrating the form with FINRA Gateway and FinPro
- streamlining the form initialization flow,
- eliminating the need to choose a specific U4 filing type,
- grouping thematic information together (e.g., display all personal information fields on a single screen as opposed to the four distinct sections of the legal form),
- providing more guided navigation so firms accurately answer only the questions that are relevant to a specific situation,
- strengthening validations to ensure the form is as complete as possible before submission,
- updating the functionality to query within the form for information already in the system, and
- integrating additional existing U4 interpretive guidance and definitions of terms throughout the form.
3. What is the release timeline?
See the table below for details and timeframes.
|February||U4 Webinars Begin|
|March||U4 Webinars Continue|
|April||Firm Testing Begins – Standalone U4|
|May/June||Firm Testing Continues – U4 Integrated with FINRA Gateway|
|July||Firm Testing Continues – U4 Integrated with FinPro (Allow Rep Edits)|
|August/September||Firm Testing Continues|
|October||Production Launch on October 5, 2020
U4 links in Classic CRD will redirect to new U4 experience in FINRA Gateway
Web CRD Registered Rep site and reference number process will be retired. Reps will use FinPro to access U4 filings sent to them for edits.
4. How can I ensure that my staff come up to speed with the changes to the U4 experience prior to launch?
FINRA has provided multiple resources to learn more and prepare prior to launch.
- FINRA is conducting a series of webinars showcasing upcoming technology developments.
- A test environment is available for firm users to familiarize themselves with the new filing experience. If you are a current Web CRD user that would like to participate in testing, please send us an email with: your name, your firm's CRD number and your personal user ID (not someone else's). Service providers and those with access to multiple affiliated entities should choose one firm and provide the corresponding user ID.
- Once the enhanced U4 is officially launched in production, users will be directed to tutorials within FINRA Gateway that will walk them through the changes.
5. When the new experience for U4 is launched, will I still be able to file U4s the old way?
No. Due to the complexities with managing U4s in multiple platforms and ensuring your firm's data remain consistent, we will shut down the U4 form in Classic CRD and redirect users to the new U4 data entry screens. Firms will only be able to submit U4s in the enhanced filing format after the production launch of the new U4 experience.
6. What will happen to any of my pending draft U4 filings that are already in progress when the new launch occurs?
Firms will be required to submit any pending draft U4 filings in the old system prior to the launch. On or after launch, draft filings that were initiated in the classic CRD system cannot be submitted, nor will they be accessible in a read-only format. Users will need to start a new filing using the enhanced U4 experience.
7. My firm is a Web EFT subscriber, and we submit U4 and U5 batch filings via Web EFT. Is my firm affected by the U4 changes that will launch in October?
The first release of the enhanced U4 is specifically focused on the online submission experience. We do not plan on making any schema changes to the existing XML batch filing interface.
8. My firm uses the "Allow Rep Edits" feature and directs our reps to the Web CRD Registered Representative site to edit their U4 using a reference number. If that is no longer available, how can individuals access their pending U4?
Firms that use the "Allow Rep Edits" feature will need to direct individuals to the Financial Professional Gateway (FinPro) to access and edit their U4. As was previously the case, the firm always retains control over the pending filing and can review prior to submitting to FINRA.
Accessing FinPro requires creating an account and satisfying identity verification requirements. Firms can have their reps begin to register and use other FinPro features now; they do not have to wait until the U4 launch. More information is available on the FinPro page.
9. What other form filing enhancements are planned after October?
The U4 is the first form developed and released during this initiative, but these new capabilities will be released in phases for all of the FINRA forms (as appropriate). We plan to roll out enhanced filing experiences for the remaining individual-related registration forms (U5 and U6) by early 2021. In-line amendment capabilities (e.g., initiating residential address changes within an individual's record instead of a form), and tools to support bulk changes (e.g., moving people between branches) are also in development for release in the future.
Additionally, we are planning to introduce API submissions as an alternative to XML batch filings, starting with the individual-related registration forms. Forms U4 and U5 will be available for testing by the end of 2020.
10. Where can I go to learn more about other FINRA Gateway functionality beyond enhanced form filings?
Please visit the FINRA Gateway product page for more details on current and planned features, as well as how firms can make the transition to using FINRA Gateway as their primary compliance portal.