July 27, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO
Insurance Technologies is prepared for FINRA Rules 2090 and 2111
Insurance Technologies continues to monitor new and upcoming regulations
within the financial service industry in order to enhance our product
offerings to help our clients with compliance. Two new regulations
proposed in 2010 by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA)
that Insurance Technologies is watching are FINRA Rules 2090 (Know your
Customer) and 2111 (Suitability). These new SEC approved FINRA rules are
scheduled to be effective in 2012 and will have a strong impact on
Broker Dealers. FINRA Rule 2090 and Rule 2111 were created to govern
suitability and know your customer obligations to ensure investor
protection, fair dealing with customers and promote ethical sales
practices. It is important for Broker Dealers to prepare for these
upcoming rules and start implementing the necessary procedures to
prepare their Advisors. Insurance Technologies continues to collaborate
with current Broker Dealer clients to identify the best practices to
meet these regulations. Please contact us, to learn how Insurance
Technologies sales solutions can assist your company in meeting these
upcoming FINRA rules.
FINRA Rule 2090 (Know Your Customer)
- Regulation requires that the Advisor know (and retain) "essential facts" concerning every customer from the initiation of the customer-broker relationship. The essential facts are those required to:
- Effectively service the customer's account,
- Act in accordance with any special handling instructions for the
- Understand the authority of each person acting on behalf of the
- Comply with applicable laws, regulations, and rules.
- "The know-your-customer obligation arises at the beginning of the
customer-broker relationship and does not depend on whether the Broker has made a recommendation."
- Discussion of frequency of updating information on client: 36 month
maximum between updates of account information for client.
FINRA Rule 2111 (Suitability)
- Regulation requires that the firm and Advisor "have a reasonable basis
to believe that a recommended transaction or investment strategy is suitable for the customer, based
on the information obtained through the reasonable diligence of the member or associated person to ascertain
the customer's investment profile."
- Main Suitability Obligation
- Reasonable basis that the investment would be good for at least some
- Reasonable basis that the investment is good for the specific customer
- Reasonable basis that a series of investments are not excessive
- The rule makes it clear that the Broker must have a firm understanding
of both the customer and the product.
Otherwise, they are in violation of the rule.
- FINRA's guiding principles relevant to determining whether a particular "communication" could be viewed as a recommendation for suitability rules.
- Communications content context and presentation determine whether a "recommendation" has been made.
- "The more individually tailored the communication is to a particular customer or customers about a specific security or investment strategy, the more likely the communication will be viewed as a recommendation."
- A series of individual actions my not constitute a recommendation when viewed individually, but when viewed as a whole, could be.
- Broad interpretation of the word "Strategy"
- The rule applies whether or not a recommendation results in a transaction
- "FINRA, however, exempted from the new rule's coverage certain
categories of educational material – which the strategy language otherwise would cover – as long as such material
does not include (standing alone or in combination with other communications) a recommendation of a particular
security or securities. FINRA believes that it is important to encourage firms and associated persons to freely
provide educational material and services to customers."
Customer's Investment Profile
- The Customer's Investment Profile is the key and includes, but is not
- Other Investments/Holdings
- Financial Situation and Needs
- Tax Status (Marginal Rate and Filing Status)
- Investment Objectives
- Investment Experience
- Investment Time Horizon
- Liquidity Needs
- Risk Tolerance
- Any other information disclosed to the member (Broker Dealer) or Advisor
- Advisor must use "reasonable diligence" to capture all of the above
about the client.
- If not captured, the Advisor must disclose and document, with
specificity, why it is not relevant to the transaction.
The information provided above is a summary of FINRA Rule 2090 and
FINRA Rule 2111 provided by Insurance Technologies. For full FINRA
descriptions of the proposed rule changes, visit