NFA Announces Amendments to Interpretive Notice 9002 Regarding Branch Office Registration
On September 16, 2021, the National Futures Association (“NFA”) issued a Notice to Members I-21-28 regarding changes to the definition of a branch office under NFA Interpretive Notice 9002. The rule was a response from the NFA to the recent trend in hybrid work environments as more employees are working from their homes. The new branch office definition now excludes any remote working location or flexible shared workspace where one or more Associated Person’s (AP’s) from the same household live or rent/lease, provided:
- The AP(s) does not hold the location out publicly as the Member's office;
- The AP(s) does not meet with customers or physically handle customer funds at the location; and
- Any CFTC or NFA-required records created at the remote location are accessible at the firm's main or applicable branch office(s) as required under CFTC and NFA requirements.
NFA Members may deregister branch office locations currently identified as branch offices that no longer fit the amended definition. The revised notice will go into effect on September 23, 2021.
It should be noted that in March 2020, in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the NFA issued a Notice to Members 1-20-12 that allowed AP’s to temporarily work from any location that had not been listed as a branch office provided that the NFA Member implements alternative supervisory methods and meet its recordkeeping requirements. This relief will expire on September 23, 2021.
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ACA is prepared to support our clients in answering any questions they have pertaining to this notice and in updating their relevant policies and procedures. Please reach out if your firm needs support.