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A Guide to FINRA Rules and Regulations for Data Storage

Registered Investment Advisors (RIAs) and Broker-Dealers (BDs) must maintain records of customer contact in alignment with SEC and FINRA rules for archiving. Instead of using one service for regulated documents and another for those not covered by archiving laws, use Citrix ShareFile for one secure solution.

What Are FINRA Rules?

The FINRA rules guiding digital data storage are designed to ensure that personally identifiable information (PII) is safely and confidentially stored. FINRA has adopted the rules outlined in the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934, which includes the amended Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4 related to the backup and storage of financial records.

The latter rule requires every eligible member, broker, and dealer to preserve all records for at least six years. Firms must also follow Regulation S-P for the Privacy of Consumer Financial Information, which guides the disclosure of personally identifiable financial information.

What's the Issue?

According to the rules, not every document needs to be archived, but in the financial industry it's better to be safe than sorry. Many financial firms simply don't have the storage space or the filing system to hold onto every single customer communication from the past six years.

Firms need an easy, secure way to store and access past financial transactions and records. That's why Citrix ShareFile created ShareFile Archiving for Financial Services.

How Does It Work?

Archiving for Financial Services gives account holders at ShareFile the ability to retain any records uploaded or sent through the ShareFile SMTP email service. Instead of deleting account files, folders, sent messages, notifications and active or inactive links when they aren't needed, ShareFile archives them for a minimum of three years.

ShareFile acts as a designated third party (D3P) on behalf of the customer for any content processed and stored using ShareFile. Citrix can also give the customer a Letter of Undertaking to provide to FINRA, if necessary.

When a financial firm implements this feature, the main app prevents the deletion of necessary records. Instead, these items are sent to an archive, ensuring that all communication via ShareFile can be accessed by a D3P.

With archiving enabled, firms will easily satisfy the record-keeping requirements under SEC and FINRA rules.

Find out all that ShareFile can do for your business by signing up for a free 30-day trial.

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