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01/18/2018

Updates to Securities Regulations Announced

Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann announced today the modernization and update of rules governing the securities industry in Pennsylvania. These rule changes have taken effect following their publication in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on January 13, 2018.

“These updates are the culmination of a department-wide effort to modernize securities regulation in Pennsylvania and are part of the department’s larger mission to promote a well-informed marketplace,” said Wiessmann. “Governor Wolf and I want our regulated financial services community to stay updated on changes in regulatory issues, as well as understand what is expected of them and their businesses to ensure compliance with our commonwealth’s laws and regulations.”

The Independent Regulatory Review Commission approved changes to the regulations during a public meeting held on October 12, 2017, determining that the “regulation is consistent with the statutory authority of the Department…and the intention of the General Assembly.”

Wiessmann urges securities professionals to focus on the following six components of the final-form regulation and the benefits of each:

  1. Reduce compliance requirements. The reduction will provide some monetary benefit to the industry, reduce paperwork requirements for both the regulated community and department, and remove some regulatory compliance hurdles.
     
  2. Permit electronic format/filing. The department is now permitted to handle regulatory filings in a manner better reflecting technology used by the industry. The use of technology reduces fees and filing time frames.
     
  3. Replace obsolete terminology. Following the 2012 merger of the former Pennsylvania Securities Commission and the Pennsylvania Department of Banking (creating the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities), these changes will eliminate confusion and create consistency in language.
     
  4. Conform to the Pennsylvania Code and Bulletin Style Manual. These corrections make securities regulation more user-friendly for the regulated community.
     
  5. Delete the Statements of Policy (SOPs) contained in Chapter 604. These changes will benefit the regulated community by allowing the department to share relevant information with the securities industry in a more user-friendly fashion.
     
  6. Align language with national bodies. Consistency in regulatory treatment is important to the success of the industry, since the securities industry frequently operates across states and countries. These changes align Pennsylvania regulatory language with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and/or the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

Wiessmann also urges securities professionals to be aware of the following amendments enhancing investor protection:

  • Prohibits the use of misleading senior-specific certifications or professional designations which indicate or imply that the user has special certification or training advising or servicing senior citizens or retirees when the designations or certifications are nothing more than marketing tools; and
     
  • Requires state-registered investment advisers to prepare and maintain written procedures relating to a business continuity and succession plan in the event of business interruption.

More information can be found on IRRC’s website: www.irrc.state.pa.us/regulations/RegSrchRslts.cfm?ID=3163

Anyone can contact the Department of Banking and Securities at 1-800-PA-BANKS or 1-800-600-0007 to ask questions or file complaints about financial transactions, companies, or products. Members of the public are also invited to connect to the department through Facebook and Twitter, or subscribing to the department’s newsletter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Novak - 717.783.4721

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