MSRB Information Notice 2021-11 MSRB Provides Further Extension of Time to Take the Series 54 Qualification Examination
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) filed a proposed rule change with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) to further extend the date by which persons acting in the capacity of a municipal advisor principal are required to become duly qualified with the Series 54 examination. This brief extension of time pushes out the November 12, 2021, compliance date to November 30, 2021, and is connection with the MSRB’s efforts to facilitate the remote proctoring of the Series 54 examination. Notably, the extension of time provided for under the proposed rule change generally aligns with the number of days taken to launch the Series 54 examination online.
Member firms are increasingly using third-party vendors to perform a wide range of core business and regulatory oversight functions. FINRA is publishing this Notice to remind member firms of their obligation to establish and maintain a supervisory system, including written supervisory procedures (WSPs), for any activities or functions performed by third-party vendors, including any sub-vendors (collectively, Vendors) that are reasonably designed to achieve compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations and with applicable FINRA rules. This Notice reiterates applicable regulatory obligations; summarizes recent trends in examination findings, observations and disciplinary actions; and provides questions member firms may consider when evaluating their systems, procedures and controls relating to Vendor management.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 21-30 FINRA Alerts Firms to a Phishing Email Campaign Using Multiple Imposter FINRA Domain Names
FINRA warns member firms of an ongoing phishing campaign that involves fraudulent emails purporting to be from FINRA and using one of at least three imposter FINRA domain names: “@finrar-reporting.org”; “@Finpro-finrar.org”; “@gateway2-finra.org”
MSRB Information Notice 2021-10 MSRB Provides Interim Accommodation for the Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (Series 54 Exam)
To address the pandemic-related challenges facing individuals who need to become appropriately qualified as a municipal advisor principal1 before the compliance date, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is providing an interim accommodation to allow such individuals to take the Series 54 exam online.
FINRA has adopted new Rule 6439 (Requirements for Member Inter-Dealer Quotation Systems), which implements additional requirements for firms that operate systems that regularly disseminate the quotations of identified broker-dealers in OTC Equity Securities (each an “inter-dealer quotation system” or “IDQS”). Rule 6439 will become effective on October 1, 2021, except for paragraph (d)(1)(B), which relates to the collection of order-level information. The effective date for this paragraph will be announced at a later date to better coordinate, and avoid regulatory duplication, with reporting obligations to the Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) under Rule 6830 (Industry Member Data Reporting).
FINRA is making available updates to interpretations in the Interpretations of Financial and Operational Rules that have been communicated to FINRA by the staff of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets (SEC staff). The updated interpretations are with respect to Securities Exchange Act (SEA) Rules 15c3-1 and 15c3-3.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 21-26 FINRA Amends Rules 5122 and 5123 Filing Requirements to Include Retail Communications That Promote or Recommend Private Placements
FINRA has adopted changes to FINRA Rules 5122 (Private Placements of Securities Issued by Members) and 5123 (Private Placements of Securities) to require members to file retail communications that promote or recommend private placement offerings that are subject to those rules’ filing requirements. The new filing requirements become effective on October 1, 2021.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 21-25 FINRA Continues to Encourage Firms to Notify FINRA if They Engage in Activities Related to Digital Assets
For the past several years, FINRA has encouraged firms to keep their risk monitoring analyst informed if the firm, or its associated persons or affiliates, engaged, or intended to engage, in activities related to digital assets, including digital assets that are non-securities. FINRA appreciates members’ cooperation with this request and is encouraging firms to continue to keep their risk monitoring analyst abreast of their activities related to digital assets on an ongoing basis.
This Special Notice seeks comments that will help inform and guide the investor education initiatives FINRA and the FINRA Investor Education Foundation (the FINRA Foundation) undertake. In particular, we seek input from firms, investors, investor advocates, academics and other stakeholders who are knowledgeable about investor behavior regarding the most effective methods for educating newer investors. This Notice is not focused on existing regulatory requirements applicable to member firms and their interactions with investors.
FINRA-2021-015 Proposed Rule Change to Amend FINRA Rules 1210 (Registration Requirements) and 1240 (Continuing Education Requirements)
FINRA is proposing to amend FINRA Rule 1240 (Continuing Education Requirements). The proposed rule change also makes conforming amendments to FINRA Rule 1210 (Registration Requirements). Among other changes, the proposed rule change requires that the Regulatory Element of continuing education be completed annually rather than every three years and provides a path through continuing education for individuals to maintain their qualification following the termination of a registration.
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