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9557. Procedures for Regulating Activities Under Rules 4110, 4120 and 4130 Regarding a Member Experiencing Financial or Operational Difficulties

(a) Notice of Requirements and/or Restrictions; FINRA Action
FINRA staff may issue a notice directing a member to comply with the provisions of Rule 4110, 4120 or 4130 or restrict its business activities, either by limiting or ceasing to conduct those activities consistent with Rule 4110, 4120 or 4130, if FINRA staff has reason to believe that a condition specified in Rule 4110, 4120 or 4130 exists. A notice served under this Rule shall constitute FINRA action.
(b) Service of Notice
FINRA staff shall serve the member subject to a notice issued under this Rule (or upon counsel representing the member, or other person authorized to represent others under Rule 9141, when counsel or other person authorized to represent others under Rule 9141 agrees to accept service for the member) by facsimile, email, overnight courier or personal delivery. Papers served on a member, counsel for such member, or other person authorized to represent others under Rule 9141 by overnight courier or personal delivery shall conform to paragraphs (a)(1) and (3) and, with respect to a member, (b)(2) of Rule 9134. Papers served on a member by facsimile shall be sent to the member's facsimile number listed in the FINRA Contact System submitted to FINRA pursuant to Article 4, Section III of the FINRA By-Laws, except that, if FINRA staff has actual knowledge that a member's FINRA Contact System facsimile number is out of date, duplicate copies shall be sent to the member by overnight courier or personal delivery in conformity with paragraphs (a)(1) and (3) and (b)(2) of Rule 9134. Papers served on a member by email shall be sent to the member's email address listed in the FINRA Contact System submitted to FINRA pursuant to Article 4, Section III of the FINRA By-Laws and shall also be served by either overnight courier or personal delivery in conformity with paragraphs (a)(1) and (3) and (b)(2) of Rule 9134. Papers served on counsel for a member, or other person authorized to represent others under Rule 9141 by facsimile or email shall be sent to the facsimile number or email address that counsel or other person authorized to represent others under Rule 9141 provides and shall also be served by either overnight courier or personal delivery in conformity with paragraphs (a)(1) and (3) of Rule 9134. Service is complete upon sending the notice by facsimile or email, sending the notice by overnight courier or delivering it in person, except that, where duplicate service is required, service is complete upon sending the duplicate service.
(c) Contents of Notice
A notice issued under this Rule shall:
(1) state the specific grounds and include the factual basis for the FINRA action;
(2) specify the date of the notice and the requirements and/or restrictions being imposed by the notice;
(3) state that the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice are immediately effective;
(4) specify the conditions for complying with and, where applicable, avoiding or terminating the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice;
(5) inform the member that, pursuant to paragraph (f) of this Rule, the failure to comply with the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by an effective notice under this Rule shall be deemed, without further notice from FINRA staff, to result in automatic and immediate suspension unless FINRA staff issues a letter of withdrawal of all requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice pursuant to paragraph (g)(2) of this Rule;
(6) explain that the member may make a request for a letter of withdrawal of the notice pursuant to paragraph (e) of this Rule;
(7) state that, in addition to making a request for a letter of withdrawal of the notice, the member may file a written request for a hearing with the Office of Hearing Officers pursuant to Rule 9559;
(8) inform the member of the applicable deadline for filing a request for a hearing and state that a request for a hearing must set forth with specificity any and all defenses to the FINRA action; and
(9) explain that, pursuant to Rule 9559(n), a Hearing Panel may approve or withdraw the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice, and that if the Hearing Panel approves the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice and finds that the member has not complied with all of them, the Hearing Panel shall impose an immediate suspension on the member.
(d) Effectiveness of the Requirements and/or Restrictions
The requirements and/or restrictions imposed by a notice issued and served under this Rule are immediately effective, except that a timely request for a hearing shall stay the effective date for ten business days after service of the notice or until the Office of Hearing Officers issues a written order under Rule 9559(o)(4)(A) (whichever period is less), unless FINRA's Chief Executive Officer (or such other senior officer as the Chief Executive Officer may designate) determines that such a stay cannot be permitted with safety to investors, creditors or other members. Such a determination by FINRA's Chief Executive Officer (or such other senior officer as the Chief Executive Officer may designate) cannot be appealed. An extension of the stay period is not permitted. Where a timely request for a hearing stays the action for ten business days after service of the notice or until the Office of Hearing Officers issues a written order under Rule 9559(o)(4)(A) (whichever period is less), the notice shall not be deemed to have taken effect during that entire period.
Any requirements and/or restrictions imposed by an effective notice shall remain in effect unless FINRA staff shall remove or reduce the requirements and/or restrictions pursuant to a letter of withdrawal of the notice issued as set forth in paragraph (g)(2) of this Rule.
(e) Request for a Letter of Withdrawal of the Notice; Request for a Hearing
A member served with a notice under this Rule may request from FINRA staff a letter of withdrawal of the notice pursuant to paragraph (g)(2) of this Rule and/or file with the Office of Hearing Officers a written request for a hearing pursuant to Rule 9559.
(1) A request for a letter of withdrawal of the notice may be made at any time after service of a notice under this Rule. The member making the request must demonstrate to the satisfaction of FINRA staff that the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice should be removed or reduced. If such a request is denied by FINRA staff, the member shall not be precluded from making a subsequent request or requests.
(2) A request for a hearing shall be made within two business days after service of a notice under this Rule. A request for a hearing must set forth with specificity any and all defenses to the FINRA action. A request for a hearing may seek to contest:
(A) the validity of the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice (as the same may have been reduced by a letter of withdrawal pursuant to paragraph (g)(2) of this Rule, where applicable); and/or
(B) FINRA staff's determination not to issue a letter of withdrawal of all requirements and/or restrictions imposed by the notice, if such was requested by the member.
(f) Enforcement of Notice
A member that has failed to comply with the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by an effective notice under this Rule shall be deemed, without further notice from FINRA staff, automatically and immediately suspended. Such suspension shall remain in effect unless FINRA staff shall issue a letter, pursuant to paragraph (g)(2) of this Rule, stating that the suspension is lifted.
(g) Additional Requirements and/or Restrictions or the Removal or Reduction of Requirements and/or Restrictions; Letter of Withdrawal of the Notice
(1) Additional Requirements and/or Restrictions
If a member continues to experience financial or operational difficulty specified in Rule 4110 or 4120 or 4130, notwithstanding an effective notice, FINRA staff may impose additional requirements and/or restrictions by serving an additional notice under paragraph (b) of this Rule. The additional notice shall inform the member that it may apply for relief from the additional requirements and/or restrictions by filing a written request for a letter of withdrawal of the notice and/or a written request for a hearing before the Office of Hearing Officers under Rule 9559. The procedures delineated in this Rule shall be applicable to such additional notice.
(2) Removal or Reduction of Requirements and/or Restrictions and/or Lifting of Suspension; Letter of Withdrawal
(A) Removal or Reduction of Requirements and/or Restrictions
If, upon the member's demonstration to the satisfaction of FINRA staff, FINRA staff determines that any requirements and/or restrictions imposed by a notice under this Rule should be removed or reduced, FINRA staff shall serve the member, pursuant to paragraph (b) of this Rule, a written letter of withdrawal that shall, in the sole discretion of FINRA staff, withdraw the notice in whole or in part. A notice that is withdrawn in part shall remain in force, unless FINRA staff shall remove the remaining requirements and/or restrictions.
(B) Lifting of Suspension
If, upon the member's demonstration to the satisfaction of FINRA staff, FINRA staff determines that a suspension imposed by a notice under this Rule should be lifted, FINRA staff shall serve the member, pursuant to paragraph (b) of this Rule, a letter that shall, in the sole discretion of FINRA staff, lift the suspension. Where all or some of the requirements and/or restrictions imposed by a notice issued under this Rule remain in force, the letter shall state that the member's failure to continue to comply with those requirements and/or restrictions that remain effective shall result in the member being immediately suspended.
(h) FINRA Staff
For purposes of this Rule, "FINRA staff" shall mean:
(1) the head of the FINRA department or office that issued the notice, or his or her written officer delegate; or
(2) if another FINRA department or office is named as the party handling the matter on behalf of the issuing department or office, the head of the FINRA department or office that is so designated, or his or her written officer delegate.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2015-019 eff. Nov. 2, 2015.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2013-018 eff. Dec. 16, 2013.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2008-067 eff. Feb. 8, 2010.
Amended by SR-FINRA-2008-021 eff. Dec. 15, 2008.
Adopted by SR-NASD-2003-110 eff. June 28, 2004.

Selected Notices: 04-36, 08-57, 09-71, 13-27, 15-35.

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