FINRA COVID-19 Updates
March 23rd | 2020
FINRA has significantly updated its COVID-19 response page with substantive relief in many areas that the regulator had not directly addressed. Here’s a rundown of the key provisions:
Annual Report Filing Extension
After consulting with the SEC, FINRA has announced extensions for annual report filing, which is required under SEA Rule 17a-5, for members whose fiscal year ends are in January through March. In particular, any member that (1) meets the exemptive provisions in SEA Rule 15c3-3(k) or (2) files a Part IIA FOCUS Report is being provided a 30 calendar day extension for submitting to FINRA their annual report related to fiscal years ending in January 2020 through March 2020. Further, the procedures set forth under Interpretation /01 under SEA Rule 17a-5(m)(1) are waived for purposes of this extension.
February – April 2020 Focus Filing Extension
After consulting with the SEC, FINRA has announced a 10-business day extension to file Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single (FOCUS) report as specified under SEA Rule 17a-5. Any member that (1) meets the exemptive provisions in SEA Rule 15c3-3(k) or (2) files a Part IIA FOCUS Report is being provided a 10-business day extension for submitting any FOCUS report to FINRA related to a period ending in February 2020 through April 2020. Further, the written application and procedures required pursuant to SEA Rule 17a-5(a)(6), and the related Interpretations, are waived for purposes of this extension.
FINRA Rule 1210.04 allows eligible individuals to function in a principal capacity for 120 calendar days before having to pass the appropriate examination(s). Testing centers, however, are closed until at least April 18, 2020. Because of this, FINRA is extending expiring qualification examination windows until May 31, 2020. Thus, Individuals who were designated to function as principals under Rule 1210.04 prior to February 2, 2020 will be given until May 31, 2020 to pass the appropriate examination(s). FINRA will continue to assess this situation and consider any additional extensions of time if necessary.