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3170. Tape Recording of Registered Persons by Certain Firms

(a) Definitions
(1) For purposes of this Rule, the term "registered person" means any person registered with FINRA as a representative, principal, or assistant representative pursuant to the NASD Rule 1000 Series, the FINRA Rule 1200 Series, or Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) Rule G-3.
(2) For purposes of this Rule, the term "disciplined firm" means:
(A) a member that, in connection with sales practices involving the offer, purchase, or sale of any security, has been expelled from membership or participation in any securities industry self-regulatory organization or is subject to an order of the SEC revoking its registration as a broker-dealer;
(B) a futures commission merchant or introducing broker that has been formally charged by either the Commodity Futures Trading Commission or a registered futures association with deceptive telemarketing practices or promotional material relating to security futures, those charges have been resolved, and the futures commission merchant or introducing broker has been closed down and permanently barred from the futures industry as a result of those charges; or
(C) a futures commission merchant or introducing broker that, in connection with sales practices involving the offer, purchase, or sale of security futures is subject to an order of the SEC revoking its registration as a broker or dealer.
(3) For purposes of this Rule, the term "disciplinary history" means a finding of a violation by a registered person in the past five years by the SEC, a self-regulatory organization, or a foreign financial regulatory authority of one or more of the following provisions (or comparable foreign provision) or rules or regulations thereunder: violations of the types enumerated in Exchange Act Section 15(b)(4)(E); Exchange Act Section 15(c); Securities Act Section 17(a); SEA Rules 10b-5 and 15g-1 through 15g-9; NASD Rule 2110 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) or FINRA Rule 2010 (Standards of Commercial Honor and Principles of Trade) (only if the finding of a violation of NASD Rule 2110 or FINRA Rule 2010 is for unauthorized trading, churning, conversion, material misrepresentations or omissions to a customer, frontrunning, trading ahead of research reports or excessive markups), FINRA Rule 5280 (Trading Ahead of Research Reports), NASD Rule 2120 (Use of Manipulative, Deceptive or Other Fraudulent Devices) or FINRA Rule 2020 (Use of Manipulative, Deceptive or Other Fraudulent Devices), NASD Rule 2310 (Recommendations to Customers (Suitability)) or FINRA Rule 2111 (Suitability), NASD Rule 2330 (Customers' Securities or Funds) or FINRA Rule 2150 (Improper Use of Customers' Securities or Funds; Prohibition Against Guarantees and Sharing in Accounts), NASD Rule 2440 or FINRA Rule 2121 (Fair Prices and Commissions), NASD Rule 3010 (Supervision) or FINRA Rule 3110 (Supervision) (failure to supervise only for both NASD Rule 3010 and FINRA Rule 3110), NASD Rule 3310 (Publication of Transactions and Quotations) or FINRA Rule 5210 (Publication of Transactions and Quotations), and NASD Rule 3330 (Payment Designed to Influence Market Prices, Other than Paid Advertising) or FINRA Rule 5230 (Payments Involving Publications that Influence the Market Price of a Security); and MSRB Rules G-19, G-30, and G-37(b) & (c).
(4) For purposes of this Rule, the term "tape recording" includes without limitation, any electronic or digital recording that meets the requirements of this Rule.
(5)
(A) For purposes of this Rule, the term "taping firm" means:
(i) A member with at least five but fewer than ten registered persons, where 40% or more of its registered persons have been associated with one or more disciplined firms in a registered capacity within the last three years;
(ii) A member with at least ten but fewer than twenty registered persons, where four or more of its registered persons have been associated with one or more disciplined firms in a registered capacity within the last three years;
(iii) A member with at least twenty registered persons where 20% or more of its registered persons have been associated with one or more disciplined firms in a registered capacity within the last three years.
(B) For purposes of calculating the number of registered persons who have been associated with one or more disciplined firms in a registered capacity within the last three years pursuant to this subparagraph (5), members should not include registered persons who:
(i) have been registered for an aggregate total of 90 days or less with one or more disciplined firms within the past three years; and
(ii) do not have a disciplinary history.
(b) Supervisory Procedures Regarding the Tape Recording of Conversations
(1) Each member that either is notified by FINRA or otherwise has actual knowledge that it is a taping firm shall establish, maintain, and enforce special written procedures for supervising the telemarketing activities of all of its registered persons.
(2) A taping firm required to establish, maintain, and enforce special written procedures pursuant to this paragraph must establish and implement the procedures within 60 days of receiving notice from FINRA or obtaining actual knowledge that it is a taping firm.
(3) The procedures required by this paragraph shall include procedures for tape recording all telephone conversations between the taping firm's registered persons and both existing and potential customers and for reviewing the tape recordings to ensure compliance with applicable securities laws and regulations and applicable FINRA rules. The procedures must be appropriate for the taping firm's business, size, structure, and customers, and shall be maintained for a period of three years from the date that the taping firm establishes and implements the procedures.
(4) All tape recordings made pursuant to the requirements of this paragraph shall be retained for a period of not less than three years from the date the tape was created, the first two years in an easily accessible place. Each taping firm shall catalog the retained tapes by registered person and date.
(5) By the 30th day of the month following the end of each calendar quarter, each taping firm subject to the requirements of this paragraph shall submit to FINRA a report on the taping firm's supervision of the telemarketing activities of its registered persons.
(c) A member that becomes a taping firm for the first time may reduce its staffing levels to fall below the threshold levels within 30 days after receiving notice from FINRA pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (b)(1) or obtaining actual knowledge that it is a taping firm, provided the member promptly notifies FINRA's Department of Member Regulation in writing of its becoming subject to the Rule. Once the member has reduced its staffing levels to fall below the threshold levels, it shall not rehire a person terminated to accomplish the staff reduction for a period of 180 days. On or prior to reducing staffing levels pursuant to this paragraph, a member must provide FINRA's Department of Member Regulation with written notice identifying the terminated person(s).
(d) Pursuant to the Rule 9600 Series, FINRA may, in exceptional circumstances, taking into consideration all relevant factors, exempt any taping firm unconditionally or on specified terms and conditions from the requirements of this Rule. A taping firm seeking an exemption must file a written application pursuant to the Rule 9600 Series within 30 days after receiving notice from FINRA or obtaining actual knowledge that it is a taping firm. A member that becomes a taping firm for the first time may elect to reduce its staffing levels pursuant to the provisions of paragraph (c) or, alternatively, to seek an exemption pursuant to paragraph (d), as appropriate. A taping firm may not seek relief from the Rule by both reducing its staffing levels pursuant to paragraph (c) and requesting an exemption.
Adopted by SR-FINRA-2013-025 and amended by SR-FINRA-2014-023. eff. Dec. 1, 2014.

Selected Notice: 14-10.

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