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August 1st, 2018
securities
FINRA ANNOUNCES INITIATIVE TO TRANSFORM REGISTRATION SYSTEMS THAT WILL LEAD TO ENHANCED EFFICIENCIES AND REDUCED COMPLIANCE COSTS FOR FIRMS

On June 14, 2018, FINRA announced details of a multi-phased effort to overhaul its registration and disclosure programs, including the Central Registration Depository (CRD). FINRA operates the CRD for the U.S. securities industry and its regulators and it provides the backbone of BrokerCheck.

These changes are being made in response to feedback FINRA received through various channels during its ongoing organizational improvement initiative. FINRA is working closely with member firms throughout the multi-year project and will continue to solicit their input and feedback to ensure the enhanced systems are meeting the industry’s needs.

The first phase of the transformation will include a new WebCRD interface that highlights important information or activities requiring immediate attention of firms, branches and individuals.

Longer-term, FINRA plans to revamp the process for completing required submissions, including by allowing efficient, paperless information updates without requiring full form submissions, expanding the ability for firms to delegate work and collaborate with registered staff, introducing e-signature functionality, and developing capabilities for bulk transactions, including filings that impact many individuals and firms. In addition, FINRA also plans to include as part of the system transformation customized reporting options for users.

The transformation aims to increase the utility and efficiency of the registration and disclosure process for firms, investors and regulators, as well as to reduce compliance costs for firms. According to FINRA President and CEO Robert W. Cook, “[t]he transformation will allow FINRA to develop systems that help firms effectively maintain compliance programs and reduce compliance costs, while continuing to operate and enhance BrokerCheck as an essential tool for investors.”

The new redeveloped registration systems will facilitate more efficient interaction for users and leverage information from other FINRA regulatory programs, resulting in a more accurate and complete set of information about registered individuals, branches and firms, which should enhance firm compliance programs and reduce compliance costs.
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