NFA held its Annual Meeting Feb. 2, 2021. Some take-aways and responses to NIBA members’ specific questions are:
Operating well with about 3-7% of staff in the downtown office. Financial, IT and Cybersecurity areas are all strong.
COVID Relief (in co-ordination with CFTC)
- NFA is discussing a possible re-definition of what a “branch office” is in light of “work-at-home” issues with most IBs.
- Oral Recording Requirement: Due to expire March 31 — will likely not be extended by CFTC for IBs.
- Time-Stamping Requirement: Due to expire April 15 — may be extended by CFTC after evaluation of the methods and efficacy firms have/are implementing.
Virtual or hybrid exams are currently working well. NFA continues to monitor market volatility and will closely monitor firms that are impacted. There are issues at times in getting documents or responses from firms, but for the most part the exams are being performed in the remote environment in much the same way as in person. Exam priority issues continue to include cybersecurity, supervision and time-stamping requirements. NFA will post further information/guidance on its website and in notices to members as they become available.
Total registration numbers continue to drop in all categories. There was some discussion between meeting attendees of the cause — i) drop-out rate remains the same but fewer new registrations ii) cost of doing business is becoming too great iii) are there other barriers to entry?
NFA Board Election
Mike Burke was re-elected to represent IIBs.
ALSO of Interest for IBs
CFTC will likely weigh in on IB issues around the 2nd round of PPP. During the first round last spring, FIA and NIBA were successful in teaming up to request “No-Action.” NIBA has been in contact directly with CFTC and FIA on this second round of relief and will notify members when further information becomes available.