Outside Publication

Shaping FINRA's Desk Commentary Safe Harbor, Law360

May 12, 2017

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has proposed in-concept amendments to FINRA Rules 2241 and 2242 (research rules), which regulate the preparation and distribution of “research reports” and “debt research reports.”

The proposed amendments described in Regulatory Notice 17-16 (desk commentary safe harbor) would provide a limited, nonexclusive safe harbor for FINRA member firms that distribute desk commentary as well as the sales and trading desk personnel who write it. The safe harbor would relieve firms that distribute desk commentary from certain research rule requirements and free personnel preparing such desk commentary from the registration and qualification requirements imposed on equity research analysts. FINRA has yet to provide the text for the proposed rule changes.

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