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New Deadline for 529 Plan Share Class Initiative Self-Reports

March 6, 2019
Volume 10

  • Notice
  • UPC Advisory
disciplinary actions

Disciplinary Actions


Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates
  • FINRA Request for Comment
  • SEC Request for Comment

Education and Compliance Programs

Tune in to the FINRA Unscripted podcast to hear FINRA leaders review existing and emerging regulatory topics that impact the broker-dealer industry, as well as other insights into the operations of FINRA. 

On this episode of FINRA Unscripted, FINRA’s executive vice president of Registration & Disclosure, Derek Linden, discusses the transformation of FINRA’s Central Registration and Depository (CRD) system and what users can expect. Listen to the podcast.

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship, is accepting applications for its 2019 class of financial FINRA Fellows—a unique program designed to increase the financial capability of U.S. service members and their families. The national program offers military spouses the opportunity to earn a career-enhancing credential — the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) — while providing financial counseling and education to the military community.

FINRA is extending the deadline for firms to self-report violations under the 529 Plan Share Class Initiative to April 30, 2019, to allow firms more time to review their supervisory systems and procedures. Participating firms must confirm their eligibility by submitting the additional information specified in Regulatory Notice 19-04 by May 31, 2019. In addition, FINRA has published a set of Frequently Asked Questions about its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative in response to a number of inquiries it has received from firms and trade associations.


FINRA Revises Indexed Amounts for Monetary Sanctions in the Sanction Guidelines

FINRA has revised the Sanction Guidelines to reflect the effects of inflation, per a policy established in May 2015. The revised Sanction Guidelines, described in Regulatory Notice 19-07, are effective immediately.

UPC Advisory
The following UPC Advisory was posted in the past week:

  • UPC 09-19 Petroquest Energy Inc. (PQUEQ & PTQEQ)
 Disciplinary Actions

FINRA publishes disciplinary actions to remind registered representatives and firms of specific conduct that violates FINRA rules and may result in disciplinary action. FINRA posted the following disciplinary item on the website this week:

  • FINRA fined Cantor Fitzgerald & Co. (Cantor) $2 million for Regulation SHO (Reg SHO) violations and supervisory failures spanning a period of at least five years. As part of the settlement, Cantor also agreed to retain an independent consultant to conduct a comprehensive review of the firm’s policies, systems, procedures and training related to Reg SHO

 Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates

FINRA Request for Comment

FINRA is conducting a retrospective review of Rule 4370 (Business Continuity Plans and Emergency Contact Information), FINRA’s emergency preparedness rule, to assess its effectiveness and efficiency. Regulatory Notice 19-06 outlines the general retrospective rule review process and seeks responses to several questions related to firms’ experiences with this specific rule. Comments are due April 26, 2019.

SEC Request for Comment on FINRA Rules

The SEC requests comment on FINRA’s proposal to amend FINRA Rule 6750 (Dissemination of Transaction Information) to provide that FINRA may publish or distribute aggregated transaction information and statistics on non-disseminated TRACE-Eligible Securities, other than U.S. Treasury Securities, at no charge. The comment period expires March 6, 2019. See the Federal Register notice.

 Education and Compliance Programs

The recording of FINRA's February 20 Small Firm Report, a conference call series dedicated to the unique regulatory challenges faced by small firms, is now available. If you were unable to join the live event, or would like to listen again, you can register for access to a recording of the call.

The next Options Industry Regulatory Conference takes place Tuesday, March 12, 2019, at 2 p.m. ET. FINRA Market Regulation surveillance, examination and enforcement staff will discuss regulatory priorities and recent findings. Additionally, representatives from Member Supervision will highlight recent options regulatory issues and sales practice exam findings. FINRA staff will be available to answer questions after their presentations.

Register to attend in person or by telephone. You must register to obtain a dial in phone number.

Register today for an upcoming Member Forum in your region to engage in key discussions with FINRA staff and industry peers around the future landscape of the financial services industry.

There is no cost to attend the forums, but attendance is limited to FINRA firms headquartered in specific regions, and is first come, first served. Register today to attend a forum in your area.

FINRA's Cybersecurity Half-Day Seminars provide attendees with information on the fundamentals of cybersecurity, help organizations understand vulnerabilities and threats related to cybersecurity, create resilience against cyber-attacks, and discuss effective practices for and handling issues related to cybersecurity.

FINRA is hosting three Cybersecurity Half-Day Seminars. Visit FINRA's website to learn more and register.

Registration is now open for FINRA’s new Institutional Conference—designed to bring together industry experts, executives and policymakers to share their specialized knowledge and experiences on topics affecting institutional firms across the country. Join us in-person on September 11 in New York City. Reduced rates are available to the first 50 to register through May 31.

FINRA's Registration and Disclosure (RAD) Training team offers several training solutions designed for those at broker-dealer or joint broker-dealer/investment adviser firms. Training types include:

  • Foundations of CRD Training (next session offered March 7-8, in Jacksonville, FL)
  • Registration and Disclosure Boot Camp (2019 sessions will be announced shortly)
  • Custom Web CRD Training – contact the RAD Training Team to inquire about a training session that is tailored to the needs of your organization.

Visit FINRA's Web CRD Training and Support page to learn more. Space is limited, so please register early.

Register 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.

Register today to attend in person or via live online broadcast.

The 2019 Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors has been rescheduled for Tuesday, May 21, 2019, in San Francisco, CA. This free one-day program is designed to provide an open forum for municipal advisory industry professionals to discuss current compliance practices with regulators and promote a more effective compliance structure for regulatory obligations of municipal advisors. The program is sponsored by the SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE), in coordination with the SEC's Office of Municipal Securities, FINRA and the MSRB.

Register today to attend in person or via live audio webcast.

FINRA is hosting several upcoming Half-Day Compliance Boot Camps across the country, each with different areas of focus. Review the list of upcoming events, or visit FINRA's website for a full list of FINRA's Compliance Boot Camps and to register.

Upcoming Half-Day Compliance Boot Camps:

  • May 23, 2019 | Dallas, TX
  • June 4, 2019 | Chicago, IL
  • June 12, 2019 | New York, NY
  • June 14, 2019 | Tempe, AZ

Register today for the June 12 district compliance event in Boston, MA. This event is designed for compliance and legal professionals at FINRA member firms, and offer an opportunity to hear about current regulatory issues while engaging with District Office staff.

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.

Listen to our podcast to find out what makes the CRCP® program a can't-miss opportunity, and visit FINRA's website for additional details and registration information.

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.

Registration is now open for FINRA's Advertising Regulation Conference—which takes place October 24 – 25, in Washington, DC. Join us in-person or via live broadcast to gain insights on advertisement compliance, and industry developments concerning communications rules and standard advertising practices. Reduced rates are available to the first 100 to register through May 31.

Registration is now open for FINRA's Senior Investor Protection Conference—which takes place November 12, in Washington, DC. This one-day event is dedicated to sharing the most up-to-date regulatory information and effective strategies and solutions for protecting senior investors and vulnerable adults. Discounted registration rates are available to the first 50 to register through June 28.

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