On October 21, 2013, the SEC will put into effect amendments to its financial responsibility rules for broker-dealers. These amendments include the following changes:
Customer Protection Rule (Rule 15c-3-3)
-Carrying broker-deals that maintain customer securities and funds will be required to maintain a new segregated reserve account for broker-dealer accounts.
-The reserve requirement to protect customer cash will exclude cash deposits at affiliated banks and limit cash held at non-affiliated banks to no more than 15% of the bank’s equity capital.
-The rule will require disclosure, notice, and affirmative consent from the customer when their cash is “swept” to a money market or bank deposit product.
Net Capital Rule (Rule 15c3-1)
-The rule will require a broker-dealer to include liabilities assumed by a third party in the broker-dealer’s net worth if the third party is reliant on the broker-dealer to pay the liabilities.
-The rule will require a broker-dealer to count as a liability any contributed capital that may be withdrawn by an investor. Contributed capital that is withdrawn within a year of contribution must also be treated as a liability, unless the broker-dealer receives written permission for the withdrawal from its designated examining authority.
-Broker-dealers will be required to deduct from net capital the excess of any deductible amount over the amount permitted by SRO rules.
-Insolvent broker-dealers will be required to cease conducting a securities business.
Books and Records Rules (Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4)
-Large broker-dealers will be required to document their risk management controls.
Notification Rule (Rule 17a-11)
-The rule will establish new notification requirements for when a broker-dealer’s repurchase and securities lending activities exceed a certain threshold. Alternatively, a broker-dealer may instead report such activity monthly to its designated examining authority.
This alert applies to the Series 24, Series 26, Series 7, Series 99, Series 82, Series 79, and Series 55.