Finra seeks to extend remote branch office inspections through end of year

Finra wants to allow brokerages to conduct remote inspections of branch offices through the end of the year.

A temporary rule in response to the coronavirus pandemic has relieved Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. member firms of the onsite, in-person inspection requirement. Last fall, the measure was extended through June.

On Monday, Finra filed a proposal with the Securities and Exchange Commission to extend the remote-inspection rule again until the end of the year.

“The proposed additional six-month extension … is necessary to address the operational challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that many member firms continue to face in planning for and timely conducting, during the second half of calendar year 2022, the on-site inspection component of [supervisory rules] at locations requiring inspection in calendar year 2022,” the proposal states.

The SEC must approve Finra rule proposals. It’s not clear when the agency might respond to Finra’s remote-inspection proposal.

The brokerage industry, which mostly has been operating remotely during the pandemic, has embraced remote office inspections and has been pushing Finra to extend them.

In a Dec. 7 briefing, the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association indicated it wants to make remote inspections permanent because brokerages are operating at least partially on remote basis for the foreseeable future.

“We are in discussions with Finra, the SEC and the state regulators about moving beyond the temporary relief to what should the regime look like in a permanent remote working environment,” SIFMA Chief Executive Kenneth Bentsen Jr. said at the December event. 

The post Finra seeks to extend remote branch office inspections through end of year appeared first on InvestmentNews.

Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He’s also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.

Andrew Vincent
Andrew is half-human, half-gamer. He's also a science fiction author writing for BleeBot.
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