FINRA Allows Traders More Flexibility in Working Remotely

The Covid-19 lockdown continues to push people to work from home and now Wall Street traders, who have long been mandated to be in their offices, are receiving some flexibility to work remotely should they have to.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the self-regulatory body which oversees brokers, released a statement saying traders could work remotely despite strict compliance and supervisory regulations.

Kenneth Bentsen, FINRA

“In such cases, FINRA would expect a member firm to establish and maintain a supervisory system that is reasonably designed to supervise the activities of each associated person while working from an alternative or remote location during the pandemic,” FINRA it said in a notice.

FINRA added that its scheduled on-site inspections of branch offices may need to be temporarily postponed, and that it would also temporarily waive some record-keeping requirements and be flexible if firms have difficulty meeting other filing obligations.

As the number of confirmed corona cases continues to rise in the New York metropolitan area on a daily basis, firms and the state governments are working feverishly to contain the spread amid the financial and broader metropolitan area.

As reported originally by Reuters, Kenneth Bentsen Jr., CEO of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), which has been leading the industry response to the outbreak, said the group was discussing how companies could meet their compliance requirements if trading staff are not operating from a branch or a redundant site where they have high levels of oversight.

“We’re having very robust discussions, we’re all trying to figure this out on both sides,” said Bentsen.