SEC Signs Off on Streamlined Broker Registration Rules

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By Phyllis Diamond

The Securities and Exchange Commission approved rule changes designed to streamline stockbroker competency exams and make it easier for would-be securities professionals to enter the industry, FINRA said Oct. 5.

The restructured program eliminates duplicative testing of general securities knowledge on representative-level examinations, and several representative-level registration categories that have become outdated or are of limited utility, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority said in a release.

The new rules, which become effective Oct. 1, 2018, are part of FINRA360, the self-regulatory organization’s ongoing review of its operations and programs.

Under the revised structure, all new representative-level applicants will have to pass a general knowledge examination, Securities Industry Essentials, and an amended representative-level qualification examination, such as the revised Series 7 examination, appropriate to their duties at the firm they’re joining, FINRA said.

“This is an important change built upon the need to streamline the examination process and eliminate redundancies in qualification and registration requirements,” FINRA president and chief executive officer Robert Cook said. “The new structure brings greater consistency and uniformity to the process for entering and returning to the brokerage industry.”

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