FINRA Plans More Remote Work Rules


The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is planning more remote work rules as well as an update to its outside business activity rule, Robert Cook, CEO of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, said Tuesday.

Speaking at FINRA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Cook reiterated the broker-dealer self-regulator’s continued efforts to revamp its rulebook “to reflect” the new post-pandemic workplace.

He noted two proposals — on branch office inspections and remote inspections — with “hopefully more to come.”

The new plan, which FINRA is preparing to file with the Securities and Exchange Commission soon, would pertain to the suppression of private residence address information on BrokerCheck.

“This proposal would suppress disclosure of the street address of a registered branch office that is identified to FINRA as a private residence, which is consistent with what happens on the IA side,” a FINRA spokesperson said.

Other rules that need updating, Cook said Tuesday, include the outside business activity rule. The goal is to “provide some more clarity and focus on areas that really need to be reported,” Cook said.

FINRA refiled with the SEC on March 31 a revamped plan to make changes to FINRA Rule 3110 to allow a home office to be considered a non-branch “residential supervisory location” under certain conditions. The revised plan tightens eligibility rules.

A “refreshed” Remote Inspections Pilot proposal was filed with the SEC on April 14.

Under the plan, “an office or location at which an associated person is engaged in proprietary trades, including the incidental crossing of customer orders, or the direct supervision of such activities, would be excluded,” FINRA explains.

The 2022 Remote Inspections Pilot proposal previously excluded associated persons who were “part of a member’s trading desk,” according to FINRA.

The new proposal would also require firms to provide FINRA “data and information from 2019, including the total number of inspections conducted, the number of offices or locations where findings were identified, the number of findings and a list of most significant findings,” FINRA said.