Regulatory Notice 14-11

SEC Approves Amendments to Uniform Branch Office Registration Form (Form BR)

Implementation Date: April 7, 2014

Executive Summary

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved amendments to Form BR, which firms use to register their branch offices with FINRA, the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and participating states via the Central Registration Depository (CRD®) system. Form BR enables a firm to register a branch office (either by notice filing or approval) as required by the relevant jurisdiction or self-regulatory organization (SRO), amend a registration, close or terminate a registration, or withdraw a filing in the appropriate participating jurisdiction and SRO.

In concert with a committee of industry representatives, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and participating states (the Form BR Working Group), FINRA undertook a review of Form BR. As a result of this review, Form BR has been amended to:

  • eliminate Section 6 (NYSE Branch Information), which currently is applicable only to NYSE-registered firms;
  • add questions relating to space sharing arrangements and the location of books and records that are currently only in Section 6 and make them applicable to all firms;
  • modify existing questions and instructions to provide more detailed selections for describing the types of activities conducted at the branch office;
  • add an optional question to identify a branch office as an “Office of Municipal Supervisory Jurisdiction” (OMSJ), as defined under the rules of the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB); and
  • make other technical changes to adopt uniform terminology and clarify questions and instructions (revised Form BR).

This Notice gives an overview of the revised Form BR and provides guidance to firms on implementation timelines. The revised Form BR becomes effective April 7, 2014. However, as described below, firms will not be required to immediately file a revised Form BR for existing branch offices on that date. FINRA has also updated the CRD Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).

Questions regarding this Notice should be directed to:

  • Stefanie M. Watkins, Assistant Chief Counsel, Registration and Disclosure, at (240) 386-4824 or by email; or
  • Kosha Dalal, Associate Vice President and Associate General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, at (202) 728-6903 or by email.