Navigating FINRA Renewals: Essential Guide for Financial Firms

Navigating FINRA Renewals: Essential Guide for Financial Firms

As the end of the year draws near, financial firms are under the gun to complete their annual FINRA and state/jurisdiction registration renewals. With deadlines fast approaching, it’s critical to have a robust framework in place for timely, cost-effective, and efficient renewals, not just for this year but for the future as well.

RegTech company MCO (MyComplianceOffice) has offered companies a guide to help prepare. 

FINRA mandates that all firms must settle any renewal fees listed in their Preliminary Statement to maintain their eligibility to operate in the upcoming year. This involves paying fees for the firm, its branch offices, and all associated individuals.

Before the submission window opens, firms should thoroughly review their reports of registered persons. It’s crucial to ensure that all details like address changes, name changes, and series changes are current. Equally important is verifying that all licenses are up to date and staff hold the appropriate registrations. This is also an opportunity for cost savings – if representatives are registered in locations where they no longer conduct business, firms can avoid unnecessary fees.

The 2024 Renewal Program Calendar, available on the FINRA website, outlines several key dates and deadlines. These include the ability to submit post-dated Forms U5 and BR Termination, initiating Forms BDW and ADV-W filings, viewing, printing, and paying Preliminary Statements through FINRA’s E-Bill, and ensuring full payment by specific deadlines to avoid late fees. The calendar also notes the final deadline for submissions and the date when Final Statements become accessible.

Missing the renewal payment deadline can have serious consequences. If payment is not posted by the cutoff time, jurisdictions may automatically terminate registrations, which could inhibit a firm’s ability to conduct business from January 1, 2024.

MCO’s Authorization, Registrations and Licensing solution offers a comprehensive approach to manage these processes. This includes monitoring, submitting, and maintaining data across representatives, branches, and jurisdictions; integrating with internal systems and FINRA’s CRD; eliminating manual processes and risks associated with maintaining multiple systems; and running advanced filters and queries for regulatory, audit, and management purposes. The two-way data synchronization with FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD) ensures that records are always reconciled, reducing the need for manual checks.

With MCO’s solution, representatives can focus less on administrative tasks, and compliance teams can streamline their work. The system also offers the flexibility to pull specific reports, like a list of all Series 24 brokers in New York, making it a valuable tool for firms to manage their registration and licensing requirements efficiently.

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