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Regulation and Compliance > Federal Regulation > FINRA

FINRA Files to Extend Remote Branch-Office Inspections

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What You Need to Know

  • The proposed rule change would include 2022 inspection obligations through June 30.
  • The SEC's Gensler told lawmakers Tuesday the agency will likely approve the plan.
  • Remote exams are necessary to address continuing operational challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, FINRA says.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday a proposed rule change to allow broker-dealers to continue to conduct branch-office inspections remotely in 2022.

The rule change (Temporary Relief to Allow Remote Inspections for Calendar Year 2020 and Calendar Year 2021) under FINRA Rule 3110 (Supervision) includes 2022 inspection obligations through June 30, 2022.

“The proposed extension of Rule 3110 is necessary to address the continuing operational challenges resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic that many member firms face in planning for and timely conducting, during the first half of calendar year 2022, the on-site inspection component of Rule 3110(c) (Internal Inspections) at locations requiring inspection in calendar year 2022,” FINRA said.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler signaled Tuesday in a Senate Banking Committee hearing that the agency was considering FINRA’s plan to continue remote branch inspections into 2022 but noted that there were “trade-offs” in conducting remote exams.