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December 1, 2001

Industry Victory on Books and Records

By Gregory Bresiger

The securities industry is content with the final amendments on the Securities and Exchange Commission's books and records amendments.

"This rule represents a long effort of the SEC, the North American Securities Administrators Association, and the Securities Industry Association to reach a balanced compromise that addresses legitimate law enforcement concerns while at the same time respecting the need to accommodate different business models and minimize unnecessary costs," according to Stuart J. Kaswell, general counsel of the SIA.

Final Amendments

The original proposal, which called for each branch office of a broker dealer to maintain records on site, was strongly criticized as onerous and unjust by various securities industry groups. However, under the final amendments, firms are now required to create and maintain certain records for each of its offices. Moreover, the broker dealer has the option of either maintaining those records at that office or delivering them to the office when they are requested.

"The modification fits in with the way most firms do business, which is maintain records at a central location. The initial branch office proposal would have been terribly burdensome," added Amal Aty, assistant general counsel of the SIA.