FINRA Zooms In on Platform Outages, SARs
This year’s Financial Industry RegulatoryAuthority exams will focus on broker-dealer filings of suspicious activityreports (or SARs), technology governance, and communications aboutdigital assets, in addition to RegulationBest Interest, says Bill St. Louis, FINRA’ssenior vice president of retail and capitalmarkets firms.
“There’s an intersection betweencyber events and [anti-money launder-ing],” St. Louis explained during a FINRApodcast, Exam and Risk MonitoringProgram: Responding to COVID- 19 andLooking Ahead.
Account intrusions, takeovers an databreaches “likely will be SAR reportable.So, I just wanted to remind firms of that.
And that’s something that we pay quite abit of attention to,” he said.
St. Louis highlighted two other priorities set out in FINRA’s 2021 exam priorities report — tech governance and communications about digital assets.
A number of firms, he said, have had
“platform outages in 2020, some of
which related to market volatility. And
the headline on outages, and like a lot
of things on tech governance, is testing,
testing, testing, capacity testing, vendor
management, ongoing maintenance and
testing of changes, new patches, scripts,
new software, new hardware.”
Testing, he continued, “to see whether
or not the linkages between systems are
going to operate as expected when there
are patches or changes to one part of
FINRA, St. Louis said, is “very focused
on customer service” during outages.
“Can firms handle the incoming calls
from customers? Are there ways for
customers to access and make transac-
tions through other entry points
if, for example, an app is
down?” he asked.
Regarding communications about digitalassets, St. Louis saidFINRA will assesswhether risks arebeing adequatelydisclosed. If afirm has part ofits digital asset business “beingfacilitated through affiliates that arenot member firms, are the communications around that clear or is the firmperhaps implying that it’s all happeningat a FINRA-registered and regulated firm,when in fact it’s not?” he asked.
Pershing, Orion Deepen Integrations
BNY Mellon’s Pershing and OrionAdvisor Solutions have expanded theirrelationship via a series of technologyintegration updates.
The new integrations will enableadvisors to easily navigate betweenNetX360, Pershing’s professional work-station, and the Orion platform, andprovide access to real-time data anddocuments, the companies said in a jointannouncement in April.
“The expanded relationship will deliveradvisors even more flexibility, deeperinsights, and more choice, helping themrealize new efficiencies, drive businessgrowth and significantly enhance theadvisor-client journey,” they said.
Additionally, the enhanced application
programming interface (API)-level inte-
gration with Pershing will provide advi-
sors on the Orion platform with access to
real-time positions, balances and activity
on their clients’ accounts, according to
tax documents and
notifications, will now
be available via Orion’s
new Client Portal, pro-
viding investors with an
“at-a-glance view of cus-
todial documents within
a single app connected to
every aspect of their financial lives,”
the companies said.
eMoney Advisor Updates API Strategy
Fidelity Investments’ eMoney Advisor
software business has updated its API
strategy, saying it has continued work
to transition from credential-based data
aggregation (“screen scraping”) to API-
based data aggregation. eMoney suc-
cessfully transitioned seven of its largest
volume connections to APIs by the end
of 2020, and more than 60% of all
screen-scraped accounts on the eMoney
platform were migrated and connected
through direct access via API, it said.
The company also partnered with
Akoya, a financial data access network
connecting financial institutions and
data recipients. eMoney is the first
data aggregator to join the Akoya Data
Access Network, the companies said.
With access to Akoya, eMoney plans
to create a more streamlined flow of
data and allow for more stable and
eMoney is planning to go live later this
year on the Akoya Data Access Network
and eMoney clients will receive addition-
al information closer to launch, it said.
—Melanie Waddell and Jeff Berman
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