COMMUNICATIONS

General

(New) Advertising Regulation

This Notice responds to questions that FINRA has received from members about how they can comply with FINRA rules when communicating with customers—particularly when using websites, email and other electronic media—while ensuring fair and balanced presentations. Our goal is to facilitate simplified and more effective disclosure in communications with the public.

FINRA welcomes the opportunity to consult with members about expanding their use of alternative and innovative design techniques—such as technology that offers customized information—in their marketing communications to help investors better understand their products and services. We are interested in ways that members can make communications more interesting and informative and how, together, we can improve the effectiveness of disclosure. Firms are encouraged to contact the Advertising Regulation Department directly at (240) 386-4500 to discuss these approaches.

FINRA Regulatory Notice 19-31 (September 19, 2019): Disclosure Innovations In Advertising And Other Communications With The Public

 

FINRA Provides Guidance On Customer Communications Related To Departing Registered Representatives

FINRA has consistently sought to ensure that customers can make a timely and informed choice about where to maintain their assets when their registered representative (i.e., a person registered with the member who has direct contact with customers in the conduct of the member’s securities sales) leaves a member firm. Accordingly, FINRA expects that: 1) in the event of a registered representative’s departure, the member firm should promptly and clearly communicate to affected customers how their accounts will continue to be serviced; and 2) the firm should provide customers with timely and complete answers, if known, when the customer asks questions about a departing registered representative.

FINRA Regulatory Notice 19-10 (April 5, 2019): FINRA Provides Guidance on Customer Communications Related to Departing Registered Representatives

 

Social Media and Digital Communications 

FINRA issued guidance regarding the application of FINRA rules governing communications with the public to digital communications, in light of emerging technologies and communications innovations.

FINRA Regulatory Notice 17-18 (April 2017):  Guidance on Social Networking Websites and Business Communications

 

Communications With the Public

The SEC approved amendments to FINRA rules governing communications with the public to revise the filing requirements in FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public) and 2214 (Requirements for the Use of Investment Analysis Tools) and the content and disclosure requirements in Rule 2213 (Requirements for the Use of Bond Mutual Fund Volatility Ratings). The amendments became effective on January 9, 2017.

• FINRA Regulatory Notice 16-41 (October 2016): SEC Approves Amendments to Rules Governing Communications With the Public

FINRA Rule 2210 Interpretive Guidance Questions and Answers