NAIFA Senior Vice President for Government Relations Diane Boyle on June 22 submitted comments to FINRA in response to Regulatory Notice 21-17, Supporting Diversity & Inclusion in the Broker-Dealer Industry. Among several recommendations, NAIFA requested the U5 filing time limit be extended from two years to five years. Given the subject matter difficulty and extensive time commitment to earning FINRA Series Registrations, the extension would allow for a broader group of advisors to maintain their credentials despite taking leaves from the industry.
FINRA has listened and announced through Regulatory Notice 21-41 amendments to Rules 1210 and 1240. Among these changes is FINRA’s new Maintaining Qualifications Program (MQP), allowing individuals who indicate they are participating in the program to maintain their qualifications for up to five years. However, the program is not without conditions. To participate, individuals must keep up with increased continuing education (CE) requirements. FINRA states that these amendments would benefit individuals, “particularly women and underrepresented minorities, whose personal circumstances take them away from the industry for a period of time.”
The MQP becomes effective on March 15, 2022, with FINRA reporting that content will become available on July 1, 2022. FINRA will notify eligible individuals who were previously registered with an option to elect into the MQP program,
NAIFA applauds FINRA’s amendment and its continued efforts to support diversity and inclusion in the industry.
- Individuals must have been registered in the terminated registration category for which they elect to maintain their qualification under the MQP for at least one year immediately prior to the termination of that category and must not have been subject to a statutory disqualification during that one-year registration period.
- Individuals must make their election to participate in the MQP at the time of their Form U5 submission or within two years from the termination of a registration category.
- Individuals must not have been subject to a statutory disqualification between the date of their Form U5 submission and the date they make their election to participate in the MQP.
- Individuals must not have been CE inactive for two consecutive years at the time they make their election to participate in the MQP.
- MQP participants must complete annually by December 31 all prescribed CE content.
- MQP participants will have a maximum of five years following the termination of a registration category in which to re-register without having to requalify by examination or having to obtain an examination waiver.
- MQP participants who become subject to a statutory disqualification while they are participating in the MQP may not continue in the MQP.
- MQP participants who become CE inactive for two consecutive years while they are participating in the MQP may not continue in the MQP.