The Securities Investor Protection Corporation (SIPC) and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently announced a joint services agreement that was designed by the agencies to ease the reporting burdens and compliance costs for FINRA member firms by allowing the firms to file just once with FINRA. It is hoped that the new, simplified filing process, should also reduce inconsistent or incomplete filing of the annual audited financial statements and supplementary reports.
Effective Sept. 1, member firms that currently file annual reports separately with both SIPC and FINRA, will file just once, using FINRA’s existing Gateway reporting portal. The Gateway portal will provide both agencies with the information, which will enable the firms to meet both of the two agencies’ respective reporting requirements, with a single filing.
“SIPC is pleased to have completed this arrangement with FINRA to simplify the filing requirement with SIPC for annual reports,” said Stephen P. Harbeck, President and CEO of SIPC, which currently receives more than 3,500 such reports each year. “The agreement also complements similar work that FINRA has done with its client exchanges to reduce duplicative reporting by common member firms.”
FINRA President and CEO Robert W. Cook said, “Streamlining a regulatory filing requirement in a manner that reduces burdens on firms while preserving important investor protections is consistent with the goals of FINRA360, our ongoing review of our regulatory programs and operations. We appreciate the opportunity to work with SIPC on this initiative.”
With the above in mind, FINRA member firms should review their procedures and processes to incorporate the ability to only have to file once with respect to certain SIPC and FINRA reports.