Banking & Finance Law Report

Tag Archives: FINRA

FINRA Rule 6490 Imposes Fees on Community Banks with Securities Traded Over-the-Counter

Enforcement of a relatively new rule of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has resulted in significant fees in 2011 for small issuers with securities traded over-the-counter (OTC), such as some community banks. FINRA Rule 6490 requires issuers to provide notice to FINRA of certain company-related actions, such as dividends and stock splits, or face a $5,000 fee, which some might characterize as a fine.

FINRA’s ability to charge issuers is new as of 2010, and is a significant departure from FINRA’s historically ministerial role with respect to issuers. FINRA primarily oversees broker-dealer member firms, but it also performs certain functions for issuers of OTC securities. For example, it reviews and processes requests to announce or publish certain actions by issuers of OTC securities and maintains the symbols database for OTC securities. …

Revised Discovery Guide and Document Production Lists for FINRA Customer Arbitration Proceedings Take Effect on May 16, 2011

On Monday, May 16, 2011, the revisions to FINRA’s Discovery Guide (“Guide”) and Document Production Lists (“Production Lists”) for customer arbitration proceedings take effect. These revisions will apply to all customer cases filed on or after May 16. FINRA first adopted the Guide in 1999 for use in customer arbitration proceedings and last revised the Guide in 2007. The Guide supplements the discovery rules contained in the FINRA Code of Arbitration Procedure for Customer Disputes. (See Rules 12505-12511.)

FINRA’s revisions to the Guide expand the guidance FINRA gives to parties and arbitrators on the discovery process. This expanded guidance is particularly important because of the growing prevalence and raising costs of electronic discovery (“e-discovery”). The revisions to the Guide also replace the current fourteen Production Lists with just two Production Lists of presumptively discoverable documents. One Production List will specify which documents firms/associated persons should produce. The other Production List will specify which documents customers should produce.…