Rules governing communications with the public. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) proposed amendments to its rules governing communications with the public. The proposed amendments revise the filing requirements in FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public) and FINRA Rule 2214 (Requirements for the Use of Investment Analysis Tools) and the content and disclosure requirements in FINRA Rule 2213 (Requirements for the Use of Bond Mutual Fund Volatility Ratings). Comments should be submitted by July 2, 2015. (5/18/2015) FINRA Regulatory Notice 15-16. 

Business contact information. The National Futures Association reminded members of their obligation to ensure the accuracy of their contact information (addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses) for their offices and individual contacts in the NFA’s Online Registration System. (5/13/2015) NFA Notice to Members I-15-14. 

FINRA revises its Sanction Guidelines. FINRA announced that the National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) has revised its Sanction Guidelines. In particular, the NAC is amending the overarching principles for the application of sanctions determinations and is revising the Sanction Guidelines to call for tougher sanctions against those who commit fraud or make unsuitable recommendations to customers. (5/12/2015) FINRA press release. 

TRACE Amendments Approved. The SEC approved an amendment to FINRA’s Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine rules to permit FINRA to implement a new contra-party type for use by firms in identifying transactions with non-member affiliates. The amendment is effective on November 2, 2015. (5/6/2015) FINRA Regulatory Notice 15-14. 

Trading activity fee exemption proposed. The SEC proposed amendments to Rule 15b9-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which currently provides many proprietary trading firms with an exemption from membership in a national securities association. If adopted, the amendments generally would require a proprietary trading firm relying on the current exemption to register with FINRA if the firm continues to engage in over-the-counter trading or trading on an exchange of which it is not a member. FINRA membership would, among other things, subject these firms to the existing FINRA fee structure, including the Trading Activity Fee (TAF). FINRA requests comment on a proposed exemption to exclude from the TAF transactions by a proprietary trading firm on exchanges of which the firm is a member. Comments should be submitted by June 19, 2015. (5/5/2015) INRA Regulatory Notice 15-13.