The Securities and Exchange Commission approved on Thursday the controversial FINRA Rule 2210 requiring broker-dealers to include a “readily apparent reference and hyperlink” to BrokerCheck on their websites.
The amended Communications with the Public rule applies to websites that will be viewed by retail investors, as well as any other Web page that includes a “professional profile of one or more registered persons who conduct business with retail investors.”
The rule does not apply to a member that does not provide products or services to retail investors, or to a directory or list of registered persons limited to names and contact information.
In approving the rule, the SEC said that requiring a link to BrokerCheck on Financial Industry Regulatory Authority broker-dealer members’ websites is designed to “increase investors’ awareness and use of BrokerCheck.”
The SEC said that requiring a hyperlink to BrokerCheck should make it “easy for investors to find and use BrokerCheck.”
FINRA’s new plan still omits what the North American Securities Administrators Association argued was one of the “most effective” parts of the original plan floated in January 2013: “deep links” to individual broker records.
FINRA must publish its new rule in a Regulatory Notice by Dec. 7. The effective date of the rule will be no later than 180 days from publication of that notice.