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SEC proposes rule to require broker-dealers to submit forms electronically

On Behalf of | Apr 10, 2023 | Securities and Compliance

The Securities and Exchange Commission is taking the latest step to modernize its information collection system by proposing a rule involving electronic filing, ThinkAdvisor reports.

Under the rule, broker-dealers and other registrants would be required to submit forms electronically that are required to be filed with the Commission under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 and the rules and regulations under the Exchange Act. These filings would be done on the Commission’s Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (“EDGAR”) system, using structured data where appropriate.

Under current rules, registrants are required to file or otherwise submit many forms, filings, or other submissions in paper form. The SEC said that during the COVID-19 pandemic, many submissions were made in electronic rather than paper form and were generally well-received.

SEC Chairman Gary Gensler said the proposed rule would save the Commission and its registrants time and resources. “We oversee more than 3,500 broker-dealers, the vast majority of which submit annual audit reports,” said Gensler. “While many filers voluntarily submit these audits electronically, nearly half submitted them on paper last year. These filings may run as long as 100 pages.”

Gensler noted that electronic filings would help the SEC expedite the process of analyzing submissions to ensure compliance with rules and laws.

The Commission is also proposing to allow electronic signatures in certain broker-dealer filings, and is proposing amendments regarding the Financial and Operational Combined Uniform Single Report to harmonize with other rules, make technical corrections, and provide clarifications.

The public comment period for the proposed rules will remain open for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register or until May 22, 2023, whichever is later.

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