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FINRA Releases FAQs Related to Regulatory Relief Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

06.16.2020

In recently released frequently asked questions (FAQs), the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is providing temporary relief from certain rules and requirements to member broker-dealer firms due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As COVID-19-related risks decrease, member firms will need to return to meeting any regulatory obligations for which relief has been provided. FINRA will continue to monitor the situation and, when appropriate, will publish a regulatory notice announcing an end date for the regulatory relief. The regulatory notice will provide member firms with time to make necessary operational adjustments.

Among the questions answered, FINRA addressed the net capital treatment of covered loans under the CARES Act. According to FINRA, “A member firm that has included a covered loan as a liability on its balance sheet may add the Forgivable Expense Amount back to net capital to the extent the firm has recorded expenses for the costs and payments making up the Forgivable Expense Amount, provided that the add-back to net capital may not exceed the amount of the balance sheet liability for the covered loan that the firm reasonably expects to be forgiven pursuant to Section 1106 (taking into account among other things the limits under Section 1106(d) on the amount of forgiveness).”

FINRA’s COVID-19 related FAQs also address the following areas:

  • Advertising Regulation
  • Annual Assessment and Net Capital
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)
  • Best Execution
  • Broker-Dealer Registration
  • Business Continuity Planning (BCP)
  • Documentation of Reliance on FINRA’s Temporary Relief
  • Filing Extensions – Annual Reports and FOCUS Reports
  • Fingerprint Information
  • Fixed Income
  • Individual Registration
  • Qualification Examinations
  • Rule 4530 Reporting Requirements
  • Relief for Funding Portal Members
  • Supervision

Click here to access the FAQs.

We will continue to keep you updated on the latest information. For questions or to discuss the impact to your firm’s operations, please contact Lincoln Gray, Audit Partner and Financial Services Industry Group Leader, at lgray@bswllc.com or 314.983.1235.

Team

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