Firm Operations

Books & Records

(New) Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements

The SEC adopted amendments to the recordkeeping rules applicable to broker-dealers, security-based swap dealers, and major security-based swap participants. The amendments modify requirements regarding the maintenance and preservation of electronic records, the use of third-party recordkeeping services to hold records, and the prompt production of records. The Commission also is designating broker-dealer examining authorities as Commission designees for purposes of certain provisions of the broker-dealer record maintenance and preservation rule. The effective date is January 3, 2023. The compliance date for the amendments to 17 CFR 240.17a-4 is May 3, 2023. The compliance date for the amendments to 17 CFR 240.18a-6 is November 3, 2023.

•  SEC Release No. 34-96034; File No. S7-19-21 (October 12, 2022): Electronic Recordkeeping Requirements for Broker-Dealers, Security – Based Swap Dealers, and Major Security – Based Swap Participants

Business Continuity Planning

(New) Succession Planning

Member firms often encourage registered representatives to have succession plans in place to plan for expected or unexpected life events. Succession planning can benefit customers, member firms and registered representatives. This Notice discusses these benefits, as well as common types of succession plans. This Notice also provides an overview of related FINRA rules and administrative processes and includes questions to consider when developing and implementing succession plans.

•  FINRA Regulatory Notice 22-23 (November 1, 2022): FINRA Provides Guidance on Succession Planning

Business continuity remains a priority for firms and their associated persons. It is important that firms maintain adequate business continuity and contingency plans and ensure that employees are aware of and understand these plans.

• FINRA Topic Page: Business Continuity Planning

• FINRA Small Firm Business Continuity Planning Template

Anti-Money Laundering

U.S Imposes Sanctions on Russian Entities and Individuals

The U.S. government has imposed sanctions in response to Russia’s actions in Ukraine. FINRA is issuing this Notice to provide member firms with information about these recent actions. FINRA encourages member firms to continue to monitor the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) website for relevant information.

• FINRA Regulatory Notice 22-06 (February 25, 2022): FINRA Alerts Firms to Sanctions

Cybersecurity

SEC Investor Bulletin

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued this Investor Bulletin to help investors protect their online investment accounts from fraud. As with all web-based accounts, investors should take precautions to help ensure that their online investment accounts remain secure. These online security tips can help.

• SEC Investor Bulletin: Protecting Your Online Accounts from Fraud (July 1, 2021)

 

FINRA Cybersecurity Topic Page

Given the evolving nature, increasing frequency, and sophistication of cybersecurity attacks – as well as the potential for harm to investors, firms, and the markets – cybersecurity practices are a key focus for FINRA. Visit the link below for more information on related rules, notices, guidance, news and investor education

• FINRA Topic Page:  Cybersecurity

Senior Investors

Senior Investors

FINRA has adopted amendments to Rule 2165 (Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults) to permit member firms to: (1) place a hold on a securities transaction (in addition to the already-permitted hold on a disbursement of funds or securities) where there is a reasonable belief of financial exploitation; and (2) extend a temporary hold on a disbursement or transaction for an additional 30 business days, beyond the current maximum of 25 business days (for a total of 55 business days), if the member firm has reported the matter to a state regulator or agency, or a court of competent jurisdiction. The amendments to Rule 2165 have an effective date of March 17, 2022.

• FINRA Regulatory Notice 22-05 (February 15, 2022): FINRA Adopts Amendments to FINRA Rule 2165

 

NASAA Model Act to Protect Seniors and Vulnerable Adults

In a significant step toward providing much needed protection for seniors and vulnerable adults, NASAA announced that its membership has voted to adopt a model act designed to protect vulnerable adults from financial exploitation. The model, entitled “An Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults from Financial Exploitation,” provides new tools to help detect and prevent financial exploitation of vulnerable adults.

• NASAA Model Statute to Protect Vulnerable Adults

• www.serveourseniors.org

FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors: In 2015, FINRA launched the toll-free FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors® to provide older investors with a supportive place to get assistance from knowledgeable FINRA staff related to concerns they have with their brokerage accounts and investments. Senior investors can call FINRA’s toll-free FINRA Securities Helpline for Seniors to get neutral, knowledgeable assistance with:
• Understanding how to review investment portfolios or account statements.
• Concerns about the handling of a brokerage account; and
• Investor tools and resources from FINRA, including BrokerCheck.

1-844-57-HELPS (1-844-574-3577)
Monday – Friday - 9 A.M. To 5 P.M. EST

FINRA Topic Page: Senior Investors