FINRA Proposed Changes to Permissive Registrations

Posted by on June 26, 2017

FINRA Proposed Changes to Permissive Registrations- On March 8, 2017, FINRA, filed a proposed rule change with the SEC to adopt amended registration rules and restructure the entry-level qualification examination for registered representatives. The new rules would also eliminate certain examination categories.

Under current rules, FINRA limits individuals that can obtain a securities license, to those working in certain functions. Currently a person must be actively engaged in the securities or investment banking business of a firm in order to be licensed, subject to certain exceptions. Those exceptions include, for example, persons performing legal, compliance, internal-audit, back-office or similar functions and persons performing administrative functions for registered persons.

The new rules would eliminate the restrictions on these permissive registrations, and allow any employee of a member firm to take examinations and be licensed in any capacity which that firm’s membership with FINRA encompasses. For example, a person not actively engaged in investment banking could nevertheless take the Series 79, or a person not actively engaged in retail client management could take the Series 7. The new rules add supervisory responsibilities for the member firm related to persons holding licenses in areas for which they are not actively engaged.

Among other benefits, the intent of the new rules is to simplify the registration requirements and encourage individuals to cross-train within a member firm’s organization.