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FINRA Aims to Simplify Its Digital Interactions With Firms

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Outside FINRA headquarters in New York. (Photo: Ron Pechtimaldjian/ALM) Outside FINRA headquarters in New York. (Photo: Ron Pechtimaldjian/ALM)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said Tuesday that it has launched a Digital Experience Transformation initiative to simplify brokerage firms’ digital interactions with FINRA, which will help to facilitate more efficient and effective compliance programs.

“We believe that there is significant opportunity to further enhance compliance and reduce costs by transforming firms’ digital experience when interacting with FINRA, whether that involves sending and receiving data and reports, managing compliance tasks and notifications, or accessing regulatory guidance,” said Robert Cook, FINRA’s president and CEO.

The digital project is part of FINRA360 and incorporates industry feedback the broker-dealer self-regulator received from focus groups with firms and a survey of more than 50 BDs on how the industry interacts with FINRA for compliance information and management, and how the processes can be improved.

The transformation, to be implemented in stages through 2022, is focused on six areas:

  • Efficiency — Centralized task management designed to help compliance professionals do their work faster and at lower cost;
  • Proactive Compliance — Actionable notifications for early warning of issues;
  • Simplified Experience — Customized and personalized user experience tailored to the role of the user;
  • Enhanced Interaction — Centralized workspace to facilitate interaction with FINRA staff;
  • Flexibility and Automation — Easier machine-to-machine integration with firm systems, plus enhanced access to FINRA compliance data;
  • Self Service — Access to online knowledge base and contextual support.

“This is a user-guided initiative, which helps ensure that the technology will enhance compliance reporting and management, not get in the way,” said Steve Randich, FINRA’s executive vice president and chief information officer. “From the start we have invited users to help us design the future, and incorporated their feedback into our thinking and designs. We will be accelerating that process in the coming weeks and months.”