SEC Approves Proposed FINRA Rule Change Subjecting Back Office Personnel of Broker-Dealers to Registration and Qualification Examination Requirements

The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s proposed rule change subjecting certain back office personnel of broker-dealers to registration and qualification examination requirements. The changes would be made to FINRA Rule 1230(b)(6).

The SEC says it is approving the proposed change on an expedited basis because it is in line with the 1934 Securities Exchange Act requirement that FINRA rules should protect investors while preventing securities fraud and manipulation. As part of the rule change, registration category and a qualification exam category would be set up for certain operations personnel, who would also be subject to continuing education requirements. The Commission believes that this rule change will take care of certain regulatory gaps that still exist in the industry.

Those subject to the rule change would be three categories of persons:
• Senior management in charge of covered functions (these include customer account data; document maintenance, collection, maintenance and reinvestment of funds; stock loan/securities lending; and delivery and receipt of fund and securities)
• Personnel accountable for authorizing work that advances the covered functions • Persons authorized to commit a member’s capital to directly advance the covered functions
FINRA is recommending that the new requirements be phased in. The SEC is currently soliciting comments.

Related Web Resources:

US SEC Approves Registration of Brokerage Back-Office Employees, Wall Street Journal, June 17, 2011
FINRA to Share Details on New Back-Office Staff Rules, AdvisorOne, June 20, 2011
1934 Securities Exchange Act

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