Amendment to FINRA Rule 2210
In December 2015 the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) issued amendments to FINRA Rule 2210 that covers communications with the public. The amendments require registered broker-dealers that conduct business with retail clients to display a link to BrokerCheck on their website by June 6, 2016.
Upon the effective date, these broker-dealers will need to reference and include the link on the initial page of their website and any Web page (including those operated by a firm’s registered representatives) containing profile information on the firm’s registered representatives that work with retail clients.
Each link must be “readily apparent” and not otherwise hidden on the web page. FINRA stated in their Regulatory Notice 15-50 that they expect firms to “adopt the perspective of a reasonable retail investor when making this determination”.
Certain exceptions to the linking requirement apply and are outlined in Regulatory Notice 15-50, which include but are not limited to social media sites and third party websites.
To assist affected firms in complying with the new requirements, FINRA has provided various tools on their website, which include:
- instructions for linking to BrokerCheck;
- instructions and tools for creating direct links to a firm or registered person’s BrokerCheck page;
- a tool for creating a custom BrokerCheck widget on a firm’s website, which allows users to search only registered professionals at the firm without leaving the firm’s website; and
- resources to allow registered persons to create custom references to BrokerCheck using raw graphical files.
Chief Compliance Officers should take appropriate steps to ensure that: (i) all of their firm’s and registered representatives’ applicable websites are identified and BrokerCheck links are added by June 6, 2016; and (ii) appropriate policies, procedures, and internal controls are implemented.
Core Compliance Can Help
Should you have any questions regarding this new requirement or need assistance with drafting policies and procedures, please contact us at (619) 278-0020.