FINRA Reminds Firms of Responsibilities When Providing Customers with Consolidated Financial Account Reports
The practice of providing customers with consolidated financial account reporting has become increasingly common in the financial services industry. In many cases, these reports offer a single document that combines information regarding most or all of the customer’s financial holdings, regardless of where those assets are held. Firms are reminded that these reports represent communications with the public by the firm; the dissemination of these reports must comply with all applicable FINRA rules as well as the federal securities laws.
As investor demand for this service has grown and as increasingly sophisticated software and data service providers have become available, firms have developed differing practices for generating these communications. If not rigorously supervised, this activity can raise a number of regulatory concerns, including the potential for communicating inaccurate, confusing or misleading information to customers, lapses in supervisory controls, and the use of these reports for fraudulent or unethical purposes.
This Notice reminds firms of their responsibilities to ensure that they comply with all applicable rules when engaging in this activity, and highlights a number of sound practices. Firms are strongly encouraged to review the overall adequacy and effectiveness of their current policies and procedures relating to their consolidated reporting. Any firm that cannot properly supervise the dissemination of consolidated reports by its registered representatives must prohibit the dissemination of those reports and take the necessary steps to ensure that its registered representatives comply with this prohibition.
General questions about this Notice should be directed to:
- Steve Kasprzak, Associate Director & Principal Counsel, Sales Practice Policy, Member Regulation, at (646) 315-8603; or
- Bill Hayden, Emerging Regulatory Issues, at (202) 728-8860.
For questions about communications with the public, contact Amy Sochard, Advertising Regulation, at (240) 386-4508.