Effective June 3, 2023, FINRA will be replacing and updating the system for filing a Company Related Action Notification form, which form begins the process with FINRA to effectuate a corporate action initiated by a company trading on OTC Markets. The new process allows companies to submit forms, get updates and respond to comments through an electronic FINRA gateway.
Effective September 27, 2010, the SEC approved FINRA Rule 6490 (Processing of Company Related Actions). Rule 6490 requires that corporations whose securities are trading on the OTC Markets notify FINRA in a timely manner of certain corporate actions, such as dividends, forward or reverse splits, rights or subscription offerings, symbol changes and name changes. The Rule grants FINRA discretionary power when processing documents related to the announcements.
In two recent administrative decisions, the SEC has upheld FINRA’s broad authority under Rule 6490 to approve and effectuate corporate actions by public companies trading on the OTC Markets. One of FINRA’s mandates is to protect investors and maintain fair and orderly markets and like broker-dealers, it acts as a gatekeeper in the small-cap industry. FINRA exercises its powers though the direct regulation of its member broker-dealer firms, but also through its Office of Fraud Detection and Market Intelligence, which monitors the trading activity and press releases of issues in the marketplace and conducts related investigations. FINRA works with the SEC as a front line in the detection, investigation and assistance with the prosecution of issuers.
Recently, through its power under Rule 6490, as more fully explained below, FINRA has, with the support of the SEC, expanded its impact on the small-cap marketplace by conducting in-depth reviews of issuers in conjunction with the processing of corporate actions, and denying such
Effective September 27, 2010, the SEC has approved new FINRA Rule 6490 (Processing of Company Related Actions). Rule 6490 requires that corporations whose securities are trading on the over the counter market (OTCQX, OTCQB, OTCBB or PinkSheets) timely notify FINRA of certain corporate actions, such as dividends, forward or reverse splits, rights or subscription offerings, and name changes. The Rule grants FINRA discretionary power when processing documents related to the announcements, and implements fees for these services.
FINRA and the OTCBB
FINRA (the Financial Industry National Regulatory Authority) operates the OTC Bulletin Board and processes corporate actions for changes such as splits and name changes. FINRA also issues trading symbols to over the counter (non-exchange) traded issuers and maintains a symbols database for issuers. When processing by FINRA of a corporate action is complete, FINRA notifies the OTC marketplace of such changes and actions, such as repricing securities following a forward or reverse split, or issuing a new trading symbol