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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation

SEC Enacts Long-Awaited E-Signature Rules

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The Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday adopted rules and rule amendments allowing electronic signatures when executing authentication documents filed with the commission, as well as amendments to require electronic filing and service of documents in administrative proceedings.

Related: How New Tech Can Really Help Advisors: Cerulli

Rule 302(b) of Regulation S-T currently requires that each signatory to an electronic filing manually sign a signature page or other document (“authentication document”) before or at the time of the electronic filing to authenticate the signature that appears in typed form within the electronic filing, the agency explains.

The amendments permit a signatory to an electronic filing who follows certain procedures to sign an authentication document through an e-signature that meets certain requirements specified in the EDGAR Filer Manual.

Also, the SEC amended certain rules and forms under the Securities Act, Exchange Act, and Investment Company Act “to allow the use of electronic signatures in authentication documents in connection with certain other filings when these filings contain typed, rather than manual, signatures,” according to the rule filing.

The securities regulator also adopted rule amendments to require electronic filing and service of documents in administrative proceedings.

These rule amendments “also require redaction of sensitive personal information from many of these documents before filing with the Commission,” and become effective 30 days after publication of the adopting release in the Federal Register.

Related: FINRA Advances Rules on Senior Exploitation, E-Signatures

Compliance, however, will not be required until April 12, 2021, and there will be an initial 90-day phase-in period following the compliance date.


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