FINRA Rule Review: Communication with the Public

Glasses-on-Generic-PaperworkOn April 8, 2014, FINRA published Regulatory Notice 14-14, requesting comment on firms’ experiences with FINRA’s rules on Communications with the Public. FINRA is conducting a retrospective review of these rules to assess their effectiveness and efficiency. The comments will inform FINRA’s decision as to whether the rules remain relevant and appropriately designed to achieve their objectives.

The review process will consist of a finding phase and an action phase. The release of the most recent notice initiates the finding phase, where FINRA seeks input from affected parties, in order to assess issues including:

  • The existence of duplicative, inconsistent or ineffective regulatory obligations;
  • Whether market or other conditions have changed so there are ways to improve the effectiveness of compliance without loss of investor protections; and
  • Potential gaps in the regulatory framework.

Based on this assessment, FINRA will report its findings to the Board of Governors and make a recommendation as to whether the rule set should be modified, maintained or deleted. Following the findings phase, the action phase will follow, which will resemble FINRA’s usual rulemaking process.

We fully support FINRA’s efforts to conduct this review. We plan to comment on this notice and will be encouraging our members to contact us to provide feedback on these rules. Please stay tuned for more on this issue as it develops.

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