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FINRA Announces 529 Plan Share Class Initiative

January 30, 2019
Volume 5

  • Regulatory Notice

Education and Compliance Programs

Institutional orders routed by brokers that send a relatively high percentage of such orders through affiliated alternative trading systems (ATSs) tend to receive lower order fill rates and higher execution costs, according to a new working paper by FINRA’s Office of the Chief Economist. The study noted that while not all brokers with affiliated ATSs show a preference to route institutional client orders to affiliated ATSs, some brokers exhibited a persistent pattern of routing orders to affiliated ATSs. Brokers with high affiliated ATS routing were seen to be associated with lower order fill rates.

The new CRD system now provides entitled broker-dealer firm users with the ability to query and view their firm’s associated individuals. Visit the Transforming CRD page for complete information regarding this feature, which became available on January 26.

FINRA announced the 529 Plan Share Class Initiative, a self-reporting initiative to promptly compensate harmed investors and promote firms’ compliance with the rules governing the recommendation of 529 savings plans. Under the initiative, broker-dealers are encouraged to review their supervisory systems and procedures governing 529 plan share-class recommendations, self-report supervisory violations and provide FINRA with a plan to remediate harmed customers. In response, FINRA’s Department of Enforcement will recommend that FINRA accept a settlement that includes restitution for the impact on affected customers and a censure, but no fine. For more information, refer to the following resources:

Senior Vice President of Member Relations and Education, and Susan Schroeder, FINRA's Executive Vice President of Enforcement.


FINRA Reminds ATS Subscribers and ATSs of the April 13, 2019, Effective Date for Disaggregated Transaction Reporting

FINRA published Regulatory Notice 19-03 to remind firms that, after April 12, 2019, member subscribers on an alternative trading system (ATS) and ATSs will be required to report to TRACE each transaction in U.S. Treasury securities executed in trading sessions on an ATS on a disaggregated basis.

 Education and Compliance Programs

Registration is now open for the 2019 FINRA Diversity Summit, which takes place Tuesday, April 2 in New York City. This free one-day program provides a forum for business leaders, diversity practitioners and human resource professionals in the financial services industry to explore a variety of corporate practices, strategies, and outreach efforts intended to leverage the benefits of building sustainable diversity and inclusion programs.

Space is limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis, with a preference given to those employed or associated with a FINRA member broker-dealer firm.
Register soon to reserve your seat.

Register early for the Annual Conference, which takes place May 15-17, 2019, in Washington, DC. This year's conference features more than 50 sessions and five session tracks geared towards various business models and firm sizes. Join us to hear valuable insights on today’s most timely topics, featuring a keynote address from FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook and Author of The Pursuit of Happyness Chris Gardner.

Topics include:

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
  • FinTech
  • Fixed Income
  • Cybersecurity
  • And much more

Reduced rates are available for the first 500 in-person registrants before March 29, 2019. Register today.

Register today for the 2019 FINRA Institute at Georgetown Certified Regulatory and Compliance Professional (CRCP)® program—comprised of two weeklong residential courses, which are delivered at Georgetown University's McDonough School of Business in Washington, DC. This program provides an executive educational experience that covers the theory and practical application of securities laws and regulation through intensive instruction, discussion and case studies.

  • Week I · July 21 – 26, 2019
  • Week II · November 17 – 22, 2019

Watch our latest video to learn more about the CRCP® program and get answers to the most frequently asked questions about the program. Visit FINRA's website for additional details and registration information.

Mark your calendar as FINRA’s Small Firm Conference returns October 23 – 24, 2019 in Santa Monica, CA. This conference features in-depth discussion on small firms’ practices and tips for complying with FINRA rules.

Discounted rates available—register early to secure your seat.


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