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Register for the Annual Conference Live Online Broadcast

May 8, 2019
Volume 19
 
 
guidance

Guidance
  • Regulatory Notice
  • UPC Advisories
disciplinary actions

Disciplinary Actions

 
upcoming

Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates
  • FINRA Requests for Comment
  • SEC Requests for Comment
education

Education and Compliance Programs


Introducing FINRA’s newest E-Learning Course: Securities Regulation Fundamentals. This course is designed to increase registered representatives’ familiarity with the structure of U.S. securities regulation. Learning concepts and in-course activities highlight federal securities laws, rules and regulations, and regulators. Scenarios also explore the distinctions between various investment professionals in the securities industry.

Visit www.finra.org/elearning to learn how to add this course—or any of FINRA’s 100-plus e-learning courses—directly to your firm’s learning management system or access this course through an authorized training provider. Note that many of FINRA’s e-learning courses are now available for CFP credit.



In-person attendance for next week's FINRA Annual Conference (May 15–17, 2019) is sold out. There is still time to register to participate via live online broadcast. This year's event features more than 60 sessions, more than 200 speakers and over a dozen networking events.

Those who cannot attend or watch the entire conference online can still stream one session live—free of charge:

  • Wednesday, May 15, 10:10 a.m. – 11 a.m. – Fireside Chat with FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook, Executive Vice President of Member Supervision Bari Havlik and Senior Vice President of Member Relations and Education Chip Jones

Visit our webpage at the time listed above to watch the session live.
 

 Guidance

FINRA Provides Guidance to Firms Regarding Suspicious Activity Monitoring and Reporting Obligations

FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 19-18 to provide guidance to member firms regarding suspicious activity monitoring and reporting obligations under FINRA Rule 3310 (Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program). The Notice provides examples of additional money laundering red flags for firms to consider incorporating into their AML programs, as may be appropriate in implementing a risk-based approach to BSA/AML compliance
.


UPC Advisories

The following UPC Advisories were posted in the past week:

  • UPC #15-19 iHeartmedia, Inc. (IHRTQ)
  • UPC #16-19 Synergy Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (SGYPQ)
 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 announced that it has fined AXA Advisors, LLC (AXA) $600,000 and ordered the firm to pay approximately $172,000 in restitution to affected 401(k) retirement plan participants for distributing materials that negligently misrepresented that certain bond funds offered for 401(k) plans were “investment-grade” when, in fact, a substantial portion of the funds’ portfolios consisted of high-yield or junk bonds. As part of the settlement, FINRA also required AXA to send corrective disclosures to all affected plan participants.

 Upcoming Deadlines and Effective Dates

FINRA Requests for Comment

FINRA has issued Regulatory Notice 19-12 to request comment on a proposed pilot program to study changes to corporate bond block trade dissemination based on recommendations of the SEC Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee (FIMSAC). Specifically, the proposed pilot is designed to study two primary changes recommended by the FIMSAC: an increase to the current dissemination caps for corporate bond trades, and delayed dissemination of any information about trades above the proposed dissemination caps for 48 hours. The proposed pilot incorporates these primary elements of the FIMSAC Recommendation and other features, including a control group, designed to support a meaningful analysis of the pilot’s impact. Comments are due June 11, 2019.

As part of FINRA’s ongoing initiatives to protect investors from misconduct, FINRA has issued Regulatory Notice 19-17 to request comment on proposed new Rule 4111 (Restricted Firm Obligations) that would impose tailored obligations, including possible financial requirements, on designated member firms that cross specified numeric disclosure-event thresholds. These thresholds were developed through a thorough analysis and are based on the number of events at similarly sized peers. The member firms that could be subject to these obligations, while small in number, present heightened risk of harm to investors and their activities may undermine confidence in the securities markets as a whole. The proposal would further promote investor protection and market integrity and give FINRA another tool to incentivize member firms to comply with regulatory requirements and to pay arbitration awards.
Comments are due July 1, 2019.


SEC Requests for Comment on FINRA Rules

The SEC requests comment on FINRA’s proposal to amend FINRA Rule 6730 (Transaction Reporting) to provide members additional time to report to the Transaction Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE) transactions in U.S. Treasury Securities executed to hedge a primary market transaction, and to adopt a new modifier to identify such transactions. The comment period expires May 21, 2019. See the Federal Register notice
.

The SEC requests comment on FINRA’s proposal to amend FINRA Rule 5110 (Corporate Financing Rule—Underwriting Terms and Arrangements) to make substantive, organizational and terminology changes to the rule. The comment period expires May 22, 2019. See the Federal Register notice.

 

 Education and Compliance Programs

Only two more weeks left to register for the 2019 Compliance Outreach Program for Municipal Advisors, which takes place 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.

Space is limited, register today to attend in person or via live video webcast.


FINRA is hosting several upcoming Half-Day Compliance Boot Camps, AML Half-Day Seminars and Cybersecurity Half-Day Seminars across the country.

Half-Day Compliance Boot Camps

  • May 23, 2019 | Dallas, TX
  • June 4, 2019 | Chicago, IL
  • June 14, 2019 | Tempe, AZ

AML Half-Day Seminar – June 4, 2019 | Costa Mesa, CA

Cybersecurity Half-Day Seminar – July 16, 2019 | Chicago, IL


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 programs include:

  • Foundations of CRD Training (next session offered June 6–7, 2019, in Chicago, IL)
  • Registration and Disclosure Boot Camp (upcoming sessions will be announced soon)
  • 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.


District compliance events are 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. Upcoming events will be held in Boston on June 12, 2019 and Los Angeles on August 8, 2019.

Review the compliance calendar to see a complete list of events.


Registration is now open for the 2019 National Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers. The program, sponsored by FINRA and the SEC, is designed to provide an open forum for regulators and industry professionals to discuss current compliance practices and promote an effective compliance structure for the protection of investors. The event will be held on June 27, 2019, in Chicago, IL. Space is limited, so register early to secure your seat.


Also coming up:

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