What You Need to Know
- Account intrusions, takeovers and data breaches “likely will be SAR reportable.
- FINRA is “very focused on customer service” during platform outages, according to Bill St. Louis.
- The regulatory group also will assess whether risks tied to digital assets are being properly disclosed.
This year’s Financial Industry Regulatory Authority exams will focus on broker-dealer filings of suspicious activity reports (or SARs), technology governance, and communications about digital assets, in addition to Regulation Best Interest, says Bill St. Louis, FINRA’s senior vice president of retail and capital markets firms.
“There’s an intersection between cyber events and [anti-money laundering],” St. Louis explained during a just-released FINRA podcast, Exam and Risk Monitoring Program: Responding to COVID-19 and Looking Ahead.
Account intrusions, takeovers an data breaches “likely will be SAR reportable. So, I just wanted to remind firms of that. And that’s something that we pay quite a bit of attention to,” he said.
St. Louis highlighted two other priorities set out in FINRA’s 2021 exam priorities report — tech governance and communications about digital assets.
A number of firms, he said, have had “platform outages in 2020, some of which related to market volatility. And the headline on outages, and like a lot of things on tech governance, is testing, testing, testing, capacity testing, vendor management, ongoing maintenance and testing of changes, new patches, scripts, new software, new hardware.”