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Securities Compliance Sentinel Analysis of cutting-edge securities industry issues

Did You Hear That FINRA May Force BDs To Wear A Scarlet Letter?

Posted in Broker-Dealer Regulation, Compliance and Supervision, Dodd-Frank, FINRA Compliance, Registered Representatives, Social Media

Much like the character in the famous Nathaniel Hawthorne story, FINRA is looking force broker-dealers to wear a mark on all of their social media.  FINRA wants to amend Rule 2267, forcing member firms to have a link to BrokerCheck on the websites and all other forms of social media.

The stated purpose of doing so is to create better consumer awareness for BrokerCheck.  As it currently stands, member firms must annually provide their customers written notice regarding the existence of BrokerCheck and how to access it.  Is this move really necessary?

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Unfortunately, studies mandated by Dodd-Frank reflect that consumers are generally unaware of the resource that BrokerCheck has become for consumers to review information about member firms and registered representatives.  In light of these findings, it seems like a safe bet that this rule change will come to pass.

What should member firms do in anticipation for this change? 

Make sure you push the culture of compliance at your firm.  Any reportable events will be more easily found by existing and potential customers.  Do what you can to avoid these events, and wearing the scarlet letter of BrokerCheck will be just another link in social media.

 * photo by Freedigitalphotos.net