FINRA has announced a delay in the launch of the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam.  Their June 26th letter, responding to industry comments on qualification exam and registration proposals, postpones the planned  implementation from March 2018 to 4th quarter, 2018.  This delay responds to requests from member firms and industry associations  to allow more time for planning and implementation of new systems and processes.  More information about the exact SIE implementation date will be shared in an upcoming FINRA Regulatory Notice.

Other Registration Concepts Addressed

A summary of additional registration matters addressed in the FINRA letter follows.

  • FINRA confirmed its intent to allow “permissive registration” for representative and principals regardless of job function.  This will allow firms to be better prepared for unanticipated changes in personnel.
  • FINRA confirmed that there will be no changes to the waiting period for exam failures after SIE implementation (30 days after the first two attempts, 6 months after the third).
  • The effectiveness of the SIE exam will remain 4 years, and persons who pass only the SIE exam will not be subject to current CE requirements.  However, FINRA will evaluate the possibility of establishing a general continuing education program for persons who have passed SIE and no content specific top-off exam.
  • FINRA confirmed its plans to provide appropriate performance feedback (scores were not explicitly mentioned) to candidates who fail registration exams.  Feedback will not be provided to persons that pass.  This feedback will be shared with sponsor firms when applicable.
  • FINRA confirmed the 7-year waiver plan for persons moving into unregistered roles with financial services affiliates of a member firm.  Registrations for these persons will be terminated, but requalification by examination will not be required if Regulatory Element CE is kept current within the 7-year waiver period.
  • FINRA may consider extending the two-year expiration of registrations through the use of more frequent CE.
  • FINRA confirmed plans to require firms to designate a Principal Financial Officer and a Principal Operations Officer, who would be subject to the Operations Professional registration requirement (Series 99) unless they hold other qualifying registrations.
  • FINRA confirmed plans to add additional principal registration categories of Investment Banking Principal and Private Securities Offerings Principal.

Check Back for Updates

We expect to receive further clarification from FINRA in the near future, and will post updates immediately.  Subscribe to stay up-to-date and fully informed on the SIE and related registration concerns.