FINRA exam overhaul

20 June 2018

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Last year the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced of an overhaul of the representative level exams program, which goes into effect in less than four months.

FINRA reviewed the current curriculum of the 16 representative level exams for content overlap, redundancies and barriers to demonstrating and maintaining qualifications, which resulted in the development of the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. The SIE is a fundamental securities and regulatory exam that will be offered starting October 1, 2018, whereby all new representative level applicants will be required to take this general knowledge examination.

The restructured program eliminates duplicative testing of general knowledge by moving such content to the SIE. The SIE will be required for applicants seeking to register as representatives but, unlike the current registrations which require association with a FINRA regulated firm, will also be offered to individuals who are “interested in demonstrating basic industry knowledge to potential employers”. However, passing the SIE examination alone will not qualify an individual for registration with a firm. To be eligible for registration with a firm, an individual must pass an appropriate qualification examination for representative or principal and satisfy the other requirements relating to the registration process.

The SIE will test fundamental securities-related knowledge, the structure and function of the securities industry, the regulatory agencies and their functions and regulated and prohibited practices. The revised representative level qualification exams will test knowledge relevant to day-to-day activities, responsibilities and job functions of representatives. Additionally, FINRA are retiring a number of registrations.

Registration Category Registration License prior to October 1 2018 Exam requirement prior to October 1 2018 Registration License post October 1 2018 Requirement post October 1 2018
Investment Company Representative (IR) Series 6 100 Questions No Change SIE 75 Questions + Series 6 50 Questions
General Securities Representative (GS) Series 7 250 Questions No Change SIE 75 Questions +  Series 7 125 Questions
DPP Representative (DR) Series 22 100 Questions No Change SIE 75 Questions +  Series 22 50 Questions
Securities Trader (TD) Series 57 125 Questions No Change SIE 75 Questions +  Series 57 50 Questions
Investment Banking Representative (IB) Series 79 175 Questions No Change SIE 75 Questions +  Series 79 75 Questions
Private Securities Offerings Representative (PR) Series 82 100 Questions No Change SIE 75 Questions +  Series 82 50 Questions
Research Analyst (RS) Series 7 + Series 86 + Series 87 50 Questions + 100 Questions + 50 Questions Series 86 + Series 87 SIE 75 Questions +  Series 86 100 Questions + Series 87 50 Questions
Operations Professional (OS) Series 99 100 Questions No Change SIE 75 Questions +  Series 99 50 Questions
Assistant Representative – Order Processing (AR) Series 11 50 Questions Retired None
United Kingdom Securities Representative (IE) Series 17 100 Questions Retired None
Canada Securities Representative – with options (CD) Series 37 90 Questions Retired None
Canada Securities Representative – no options (CN) Series 38 45 Questions Retired None
Registered Options Representative (OR) Series 42 50 Questions Retired None
Corporate Securities Representative (CS) Series 62 115 Questions Retired None
Government Securities Limited Representative (RG) Series 72 100 Questions Retired None

Individuals who apply for registration prior to 30 September 2018 will be required to pass the current representative level exams and will not be required to pass the SIE in order to register as a representative. However, if that individual does not pass and the next eligibility date for retaking the exam is on or after October 2018, they will be required to pass the SIE and the revised representative level qualification exam in order to register as a representative.

We can help

Bovill provides comprehensive US broker / dealer services to companies to form a new broker / dealer, acquire an existing firm, expand their business activities and assist with ongoing compliance related matters. Our team of experienced professionals can help you navigate the multifaceted FINRA and SEC process as well as state registrations.

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