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NASAA Supports Proposal Requiring Use of BrokerCheck Links in Online Communications With Public

In a recent letter to FINRA, the North American Securities Administrators Association, Inc. (“NASAA”) wrote in support of a proposal requiring broker dealers to add links to BrokerCheck on firm communications available to retail investors.  The proposal, set forth in FINRA Regulatory Notice 14-19, calls for an amendment to FINRA Rule 2210 requiring firms to include readily apparent references and hyperlinks to BrokerCheck on any website available to retail investors.   According to a study cited by NASAA, BrokerCheck is underutilized as only 15% of people check a financial advisor’s background before engaging that advisor’s services.  In addition to references to BrokerCheck on firm websites, NASAA also called for adoption of the hyperlink to BrokerCheck in email communications, as well as the use of more detailed “deep links” which would direct a user to the BrokerCheck summary report specific to a member firm or associated person.