FINRA: Firm Guidance – Private Placement Filings

This reference guide covers a range of private placement topics, from the basic question of “What is a private offering?” to more technical discussions on broker-dealer compliance with FINRA’s private placement rules.

1. The Basics – What Is a Private Placement?

Private placements are unregistered, non-public securities offerings that rely on an available exemption from registration with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). Unregistered offerings of securities must rely on an exemption from registration under either Sections 3 or 4 of the Securities Act of 1933 (the ’33 Act[1].) Most private offerings, however, are sold pursuant to three “safe harbor” rules promulgated under the ’33 Act; Regulation D, Rules 504,[2] 506(b),[3] and 506(c).[4] These rules provide issuers with a clearer and more objective set of requirements for which their offerings may qualify for exemption from registration.

Of the approximate 4,000 FINRA-registered member firms, nearly a quarter (or 23%) have reported revenue from private placement activities during the past five years. Many of these firms are not frequent filers, having submitted fewer than five filings. The following information provides guidance which may be helpful to member firms that are either first-time or infrequent filers or have limited compliance resources.

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FINRA Requests Comment on a Proposal to Publish ATS Volume Data

Regulatory Notice 19-22

Comment Period Expires: September 7, 2019

FINRA Requests Comment on a Proposal to Publish ATS Volume Data for Corporate Bonds and Agency Debt Securities on FINRA’s Website.

FINRA requests comment on a proposal to expand the alternative trading system (ATS) volume data that it publishes on its website to include information on transactions in corporate bonds and agency debt securities that occur within an ATS and are reported to FINRA’s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine (TRACE).

Questions concerning this Notice should be directed to:

  • Chris Stone, Vice President, Transparency Services, at (202) 728-8457;
  • Patrick Geraghty, Vice President, Market Regulation, at (240) 386-4973;
  • Racquel Russell, Associate General Counsel, Office of General Counsel (OGC), at (202) 728-8363; or
  • Robert McNamee, Assistant General Counsel, OGC, at (202) 728-8012.

View Full Notice Here:

Margin Requirements for Exchange-Traded Notes

Regulatory Notice 19-21

Pursuant to FINRA Rule 4210(f)(8)(A), FINRA is establishing higher strategy-based margin requirements for exchange-traded notes (ETNs) and options on ETNs in light of the complex nature of these products.  The new requirements for initial and maintenance margin are detailed below.

In addition, FINRA is clarifying that ETNs and options on ETNs are not eligible for portfolio margining under FINRA Rule 4210(g).

If these measures would result in undue hardship to a firm or its customers, the firm may submit a written request to FINRA for additional time to comply with this Notice.

View Full Notice Here!

Questions concerning this Notice should be directed to:

  • Adam Rodriguez, Director, Credit Regulation, at (646) 315-8572;
  • Joseph David, Principal Specialist, at (646) 315-8444; or
  • Kathryn Moore, Associate General Counsel, Office of General Counsel, at (202) 728-8200.