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Information Notice – 6/25/20

FINRA Gateway – Changes to Form U4 User Interface and Access to Continuing Education

Summary

FINRA’s Digital Experience Transformation is changing the way that firms and their personnel access and interact with FINRA’s systems and complete their compliance and regulatory tasks. This Information Notice highlights near-term changes to the manner in which firms and their personnel access, and interact with, FINRA’s registration and continuing education applications and provides relevant dates when FINRA anticipates those changes will occur. As discussed below, some of these changes will require registered persons (and persons seeking registration) to exclusively use FINRA’s Financial Professional Gateway (FinPro).1

Questions concerning this Notice should be directed to:

  • Noah Egorin, Senior Director, Credentialing, Registration, Education, Disclosure (CRED), at (240) 386-6734 or by email; or
  • Patricia Monterosso, Director, Continuing Education Services, CRED, at (212) 858-4086 or by email.

Background and Discussion

Currently, firms use a Web CRD interface to complete and file Form U4 (Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer). Firms may also collaborate with a registered person or person seeking registration to amend or complete the person’s registration information on Form U4 either through FINRA’s Web CRD Registered Representative Site or through FinPro. Registered persons currently complete the Regulatory Element of the Continuing Education (CE) program either by accessing ceonline.finra.org (CE Online) or through FinPro. As highlighted below, FINRA is enhancing the Form U4 interface and transitioning, in stages, to the exclusive use of FinPro for both the collaboration functionality of the registration process and the completion of the Regulatory Element by registered persons.

Form U4 User Interface and Collaboration

In October 2020, FINRA is launching new functionality designed to make the process of filing Forms U4 more intuitive. FINRA expects the new functionality, which incorporates enhanced data entry and validation features, to reduce filing errors and increase efficiency for firms. When this functionality becomes available on October 5, 2020, the current “Allow Rep Edits” feature in Web CRD, which firms may use to collaborate online with their registered persons (or persons seeking registration) to amend or complete the Form U4, will be available only through FinPro. Accordingly, for a firm to use the “Allow Rep Edits” feature on or after October 5, 2020, its registered persons (and persons who are seeking registration with the firm) will need a FinPro account.

Below are key dates firms should keep in mind while preparing for the upcoming changes.

Enhanced Form U4 Online Filing Experience Released in FINRA Gateway

On October 5, FINRA will introduce significant changes to the online filing experience for Form U4. The changes will include modern data entry screens, more intuitive ordering of questions, and enhanced validations designed to reduce filing errors.

FinPro Required for Form U4 Online Collaboration (Optional Feature)

In conjunction with the changes to the Form U4 user interface, as of October 5 firms that elect to collaborate with registered persons (or persons seeking registration) to complete the Form U4 online—the “Allow Rep Edits” functionality—will be required to use FinPro (an option available today) to conduct that collaboration.

With this FinPro feature, firms will have new capabilities to better manage the collaborative process, including the ability to enable a registered person or person seeking registration to enter data in discrete sections of the form and the ability to monitor the completion of the form (or the discrete sections) by such persons. Like the current “Allow Rep Edits” functionality, this FinPro feature permits collaboration only between the firm and the registered person (or person seeking registration) in the form amendment or completion process. The submission of the Form U4 filing to Web CRD will continue to be solely within the firm’s control.

Regulatory Element of CE

Beginning November 9, 2020, all registered representatives and principals will be required to use FinPro to complete their Regulatory Element of CE. This change addresses the discontinuation of Adobe Flash, which CE Online uses.

S201 Program

In the interim period, starting on June 15, 2020, and ending on November 8, 2020, individuals may elect to use either FinPro or CE Online to access and complete the Regulatory Element for registered principals and supervisors (S201 program), provided that their computers are equipped with Adobe Flash if they choose to use CE Online.

S101 Program

Similarly, between October 5, 2020, and November 8, 2020, individuals may elect to access and complete the Regulatory Element for other registered persons (S101 program) via either FinPro or CE Online, provided that their computers are equipped with Adobe Flash if they choose to use CE Online.

Endnotes


  1. FinPro provides individuals (current or former registered persons) direct access to resources and tools to manage their registration information. To learn more about FinPro, including how to register, visit www.finra.org/registrationexams- ce/finpro.