On March 8, 2017, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (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. FINRA is planning to implement the changes in two phases, with full implementation completed during the first half of 2017.
Securities Industry Essentials Exam
As part of the proposed amendments, FINRA introduced a new beginning-level examination called the Security Industry Essentials (SIE), which can be taken by individuals without sponsorship by a broker-dealer. The SIE would be a general-knowledge examination including fundamentals such as basic product knowledge, structure and functioning of the securities industry markets, regulatory agencies and their functions, and regulated and prohibited practices.
Under the proposed new rules, anyone desiring to work in the securities industry for a member firm would need to take the SIE. The SIE would also be open to anyone who desires to
SEC Proposes Broadening Of Broker-Dealer Registration Rules To Include Proprietary And High-Frequency Traders
On March 25, 2015, the SEC proposed rule amendments to require high-frequency and off-exchange traders to become members of FINRA. The amendments would increase regulatory oversight over these traders.
Over the years many active cross-market proprietary trading firms have emerged, many of which engage in high-frequency trading. These firms generally rely on the broad proprietary trading exemption in rule 15b9-1 to forgo membership with, and therefore regulatory oversight by, FINRA. The rule change is specifically designed to require these high-frequency traders to become members of FINRA and submit to its review and oversight.
The proposed rule change amends Rule 15b9-1 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (“Exchange Act”) to narrow a current exemption from FINRA membership if the broker is a member of a national securities exchange, carries no customer accounts and has annual gross income of no more than $1,000 derived from sources other than the exchange to which they are a member. Currently, income