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FINRA Provides Temporary Extension of Time for Submission of Fingerprint Information Under Rule 1010(d)

On March 20, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) issued an order that, among other things, provides a temporary exemption until May 30, 2020 from the fingerprinting requirements of Securities Exchange Act Rule 17f-2 for FINRA members and their employees. As a condition of the relief, the Order requires written notification to the Commission by May 30, 2020, that a person will rely on the exemption. FINRA has provided that notification on behalf of all of its members and their employees. As set forth in that notification, a FINRA member firm seeking to avail itself of this temporary exemptive relief must comply with FINRA’s guidance with respect to FINRA Rule 1010, which is set forth below.

Temporary Extension of Time for Submission of Fingerprint Information Under Rule 1010(d) (Fingerprint Information)

Q. FINRA Rule 1010(d) requires members to submit fingerprint information for an individual applicant no later than 30 days after FINRA receives the applicant’s Form U4. In the interim, the individual’s registration may be deemed effective pending receipt of the fingerprint information. If the information is not submitted within 30 days, the individual’s registration is deemed inactive and the individual must immediately cease performing any registered activities. Due to the limitations and restrictions imposed as a result of the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), our firm is unable to submit fingerprint information for applicants within the 30-day period under Rule 1010(d). Is FINRA considering extending the 30-day period to address this issue?

A. Yes. Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the SEC recently issued an order providing temporary relief from the fingerprinting requirements of Section 17(f)(2) of the Exchange Act and SEA Rule 17f-2 for the period of March 16, 2020 until May 30, 2020. In addition, FINRA Rule 1010(d) authorizes FINRA to extend the 30-day period for submitting fingerprint information upon application and a showing of good cause. Given the Commission’s order, and the authority in Rule 1010, FINRA is temporarily extending the time period for submitting fingerprint information under Rule 1010(d). Specifically, members that submitted, or will submit, an applicant’s initial or transfer Form U4 between February 15, 2020 and May 30, 2020, will have until June 29, 2020 to submit the necessary fingerprint information. FINRA will continue to assess this situation and consider any additional extensions of time as appropriate.