FINRA Rule 2210
FINRA Rule 2210 governs broker dealers' communications with the public including communications with retail and institutional investors. The rule provides standards for the content, approval, recordkeeping and filing of communications with FINRA.
Firms, in general, must comply with FINRA Rule 2210 when communicating with the public, including communications with retail and institutional investors. The rule establishes standards for the content, approval, recordkeeping and filing of communications with FINRA.
There are three categories of firm communications defined and regulated by FINRA Rule 2210.
- Retail communication - Any written communication, including electronic, distributed or made available to more than 25 retail investors within any 30 calendar-day period
- Correspondence - Similar to retail communication, but is limited to 25 or fewer retail investors
- Institutional communication - Any written communication, including electronic, distributed or made available only to institutional investors, such as banks, insurance companies and registered investment companies, among others. A firm's internal communications are not covered by this definition.
FINRA's Advertising Regulation Department reviews firms' advertisements and other communications with the public to ensure they are fair, balanced, not misleading and comply with the standards of the SEC, MSRB and SIPC advertising rules. The department reviews more than 100,000 communications every year that are submitted either as required by FINRA's rules or voluntarily by firms.
After reviewing the communications, the department provides firms with written commentary and if it finds egregious violations of the rules, the staff will instruct a firm to cease using the communication and may refer the matter for disciplinary action.
How to Submit Communications for Review
Firms can file communications for review via Advertising Regulation Electronic Files (AREF), an online application. In addition, firms can use AREF to view, print and save the department’s review letters. The vast majority of communications are filed electronically through AREF. However, firms still wishing to submit hard copies must use the Filing Cover Sheet. Effective September 28, 2015, FINRA migrated the AREF system to a new platform that allows firms to submit advertising-related files through a wide variety of formats and to submit larger files.
For more details about the system, please see the Advertising Regulation Electronic Files page.
Through this fee-based program, the department reviews communications broker-dealers file primarily in response to the requirements set forth in FINRA's rules. The department reviews the communications and provides written commentary to the firms, and if the department finds egregious violations, the staff will instruct a firm to cease using the communication and may refer the matter for disciplinary action.
Advertising Regulation Resources
- Advertising Related Notices
- Advertising Related Notices Subject Index
- Tools and Resources for Complying With the BrokerCheck Link Requirements in Rule 2210
- Recommendations Concerning Advertising and Promotion of Commission Discounts
- Investor Alerts
- Regulatory & Compliance Alert Article Reference Guide
- News Releases
- Interpretive Letters
FINRA's Advertising Regulation Department periodically reviews communications that have not been previously filed or subject to the filing requirements from select groups of firms. These targeted exams, or sweeps, generally target areas of regulatory concern, such as a new type of product, or an investor protection issue such as how a firm is using social media (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, blogs) in the conduct of its business. If a review reveals any rule violations, the department will provide a written Review Letter to the firm and look into the preparation and use of the material. It also may refer the matter for disciplinary action.
FINRA has issued a series of advertising-related Targeted Examination Letters.
FINRA's educational materials highlight news, regulatory updates and other compliance topics. You can find advertising-related education using the following links.
- 2017 Advertising Regulation Conference
October 5 - 6, 2017 | Washington, DC
- E-Learning Courses
|Address:||Advertising Regulation Department
9509 Key West Avenue
Rockville, MD 20850
FINRA Communications and Disclosure Rules
- 2210. Communications with the Public
- 2211. Communications with the Public About Variable Life Insurance and Variable Annuities
- 2212. Use of Investment Companies Rankings in Retail Communications
- 2213. Requirements for the Use of Bond Mutual Fund Volatility Ratings
- 2214. Requirements for the Use of Investment Analysis Tools
- 2215. Communications with the Public Regarding Security Futures
- 2216. Communications with the Public About Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMOs)
- 2220. Options Communications
- 2230. Customer Account Statements and Confirmations
- 2241. Research Analysts and Research Reports
- 2242. Debt Research Analysts and Debt Research Reports
- 2264. Margin Disclosure Statement
- 2266. SIPC Information
- 2267. Investor Education and Protection
- 2270. Day-Trading Risk Disclosure Statement
- 221. Capital Acquisition Broker Rules
- 200. Funding Portal Rules
SEC Advertising Rules
- 230.134 Communications not deemed a prospectus.
- 230.134a Options material not deemed a prospectus.
- 230.135a Generic advertising.
- 230.135b Materials not deemed an offer to sell or offer to buy nor a prospectus.
- 230.135c Notice of certain proposed unregistered offerings.
- 230.156 Investment company sales literature
- 230.433 Conditions to permissible post-filing free writing prospectuses.
- 230.482 Advertising by an investment company as satisfying requirements of section 10.
- 270.34b-1 Sales literature deemed to be misleading.
MSRB Advertising Rules
Rule G-21 Advertising
SIPC Advertising Rules
NASD Rule 2711 - Research Analysts and Research Reports
FINRA Rule 2210 - Communications with the Public
NASD Rule 2110 and NYSE Rule 402.30—Partial Redemption Allocations and Disclosure Practices in Auction Rate Securities
NASD Rule 2210 - Communications with the PublicThe posting to a Web site of performance information as required by California state law does not constitute an advertisement under NASD Rule 2210.
NASD Rule 2110 - Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of TradeMember whose firm will cease to exist upon merger with an acquiring member that does not generally offer retail brokerage services may use negative response letters to accomplish the bulk transfer of its retail accounts to a broker-dealer affiliate of the acquiring member.
Further interpretive advice to members concerning the sale of hedge funds.
Member that serves as investment consultant and sub-administrator for certain mutual funds, but does not serve as either the principal underwriter or an investment adviser or sub-adviser to the funds, may state in its public communications that it does not offer proprietary products.
Applicability of NASD rules to a member's use of a translator for group retirement plan enrollment presentations.
The limited supervisory functions that can be properly delegated to registered representatives also may be assigned to persons registered as Foreign Associates under NASD Rule 1100. Foreign Associates, however, may not perform the functions that require a principal registration.
Application of Rule 2210 to the use of investment projections and marketing material when registered persons are conducting advisory services.
A broker/dealer is not required to register as branch offices under Rule 3010(g) non-public office locations where existing customers can use computer terminals to access their accounts and enter orders.
Staff interpretation on the use of electronic signatures under NASD Rules 3110(c)(1)(C) and 3010(d).
Application of NASD Rules to the sale of group variable products.