All registered reps should know about and understand the new FINRA Rule 2210, which goes into effect June 6. So, let’s jump right into it and get this knocked out!
Registered reps likely know about FINRA’s BrokerCheck tool, which allows consumers to learn more about their rep and make sure they’re in good standing. It’s like the Better Business Bureau for brokers. And now, it’s coming to the brokers’ websites, too.
FINRA Rule 2210 states a registered rep must provide a link to BrokerCheck on their website so consumers have easy access and can simply click to learn about the rep. FINRA is giving registered reps until June 6, 2016, to comply.
What’s very important to understand is the details of WHERE the link must be placed:
Effective June 6, 2016, FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public) requires a firm to include a readily apparent reference and hyperlink to BrokerCheck on the initial web page that the firm intends to be viewed by retail investors, and any other web page that includes a professional profile of one or more registered persons, who conduct business with retail investors. See more at: http://www.finra.org/industry/notices/15-50
Anyone who is a registered rep AND has a consumer-facing website will be required to comply. Again, be very careful to understand the section above. This notice must be on any page where the rep’s professional bio exists, plus the initial page their firm uses (so typically the home page of a website, but could be a landing page if they use it for lead generation).
I would caution this interpretation will likely include the rep’s LinkedIn profile, too. Although the ruling doesn’t outright state this, I feel it’s a matter of time before they clarify it. A registered rep’s profile is a biographical representation of who they are, so providing a link to BrokerCheck seems not only safe but also very transparent.
Registered reps will need to work with whoever manages their website and make sure they understand the implications of this ruling. It’s mandatory for them to update their website, LinkedIn profile, and any other web page where a bio of them as a registered rep exists. Failure to comply with a FINRA rule usually equals a penalty of some sort.
Do not wait – get this done today. If you need help, reach out and ask our social media team. We can provide instructions or even help them get their LinkedIn profile updated so they avoid trouble with something so small.
Again, I know rules are a pain the butt. However, FINRA wants to keep the registered rep and their consumers safe and informed. Let us know if you need assistance.
© 2018 Ash Brokerage LLC.