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Novel Coronavirus COVID-19 Updates

NASAA has established this resource page to collect COVID-19-related updates from state and provincial securities regulators. At this time, NASAA is not aware of any state or provincial securities regulator that is not providing services. If you any questions, please contact the relevant state or provincial securities regulator. Contact information is available here

UPDATES

TEST CENTERS & EXAM ENROLLMENTS UPDATE

NASAA, FINRA and Prometric continue to take the health and well-being of our community as a top priority. Prometric has resumed testing in most of their U.S. and Canada test centers, at either full or limited occupancy, based on local and government mandates. Additionally, as previously announced on July 13, candidates and firms may schedule online test appointments for FINRA’s Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6, and Series 7 exams and NASAA’s Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 exams.

These measures have resulted in increased capacity available for both online and in center testing to allow current candidates to schedule and take their exams. In order to do so in as timely a manner as possible, FINRA and NASAA encourage candidates and firms to use a combination of these methods to satisfy their testing needs. More information on online and test center availability can be found on Prometric’s website.

NASAA and FINRA continue to recognize the ongoing challenges our test candidates face during this COVID-19 pandemic and will extend all enrollment windows that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16 and September 2020. NASAA, FINRA, and MSRB exam enrollment end dates will be extended through the same end date of September 30, 2020. Affected enrollment windows will be systematically updated and reflected in CRD on August 25. NASAA, FINRA, and MSRB will continue to assess this situation and consider whether any additional extension of their exam enrollment windows is necessary.

NEW MEXICO

The New Mexico Securities Division has issued a temporary order authorizing remote on-site audits by broker-dealers of agent branch offices located in New Mexico for 2020. Details

MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts has extended its temporary relief from signature and notarization requirements in corporate finance filings and for registered financial professionals through August 31,2020. Details

MAINE

Maine has extended its order providing temporary relief to the securities industry from certain regulatory obligations due to the coronavirus pandemic until October 31, 2020. Details

Maine also issued a separate order relating to annual branch office inspections by broker-dealers. Details

INDIANA

The Indiana Secretary of State and the Securities Commissioner  have issued a Statement of Policy regarding temporary
relief from the state regulation requiring a broker-dealer to conduct annual compliance examinations of each of its branch offices. The Division will not initiate an administrative action for a broker-dealer’s failure to conduct in-person compliance examinations of branch offices during calendar year 2020. Details


Remote Exam Update

As previously announced, FINRA and NASAA have been working together to deliver an online testing service for candidates seeking to take qualification exams remotely. Beginning July 13, candidates and firms may schedule online test appointments for FINRA’s Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6, and Series 7 exams and NASAA’s Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 exams.

FINRA and NASAA anticipate high demand for online test appointments and recognize the challenges associated with accommodating the current demand driven by months of COVID-19 restrictions. Online appointments will be limited initially so we can monitor program performance under increased volume and adjust if necessary. We expect to be able to increase appointment availability during the months of July and August. FINRA and NASAA encourage firms and candidates to utilize a combination of online testing as well as testing at an available local test center as we work with Prometric to increase online capacity. More information on test center openings and availability can be found on Prometric’s website.

To be eligible for an online test appointment, candidates must not have a concurrent appointment at a test center and must meet technical and remote environment requirements. Candidates who currently have appointments to take an exam at a test center but wish to change to an online test appointment should make sure they can meet the above-stated requirements and be aware of any rescheduling policies before cancelling a test center appointment. In addition, firms considering online test delivery through their network and firm-issued equipment should review the technical requirements pertaining to equipment, networking and information security.

As a reminder, as previously announced, all FINRA-administered exam enrollment windows that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16 and August 2020 have been extended through the same end date of August 31, 2020.

ALABAMA

Temporary relief  for registrants affected by the COVID-19 outbreak has been extended to July 31, 2020.

Details

QUEBEC

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is announcing today that exam sessions, which are currently on hold to limit the spread of COVID-19, will resume on July 6 in Montréal, and on July 7 in Québec City. To make this possible, the AMF is temporarily relocating the exam sessions in order to follow the Québec government’s public health recommendations for limiting the risk of spreading the virus, including social distancing.

Details

MAINE

Maine has extended its order providing temporary relief to the securities industry from certain regulatory obligations due to the coronavirus pandemic until July 31, 2020.

Details

NASAA

To address the impact on exam candidates as a result of COVID-19, candidate enrollment windows for the Series 63, 65, and 66 that will expire between now and August 30, 2020 will be automatically extended through August 31, 2020. 

Details


Canadian Securities Administrators

Temporary relief from certain regulatory filings available to registrants and unregistered capital markets participants due to COVID-19

Details

NASAA

To address the impact on exam candidates as a result of COVID-19, candidate enrollment windows for the Series 63, 65, and 66 that will expire between now and August 30, 2020 will be automatically extended through August 31, 2020. 

Details


Canadian Securities Administrators

Temporary relief from certain regulatory filings available to registrants and unregistered capital markets participants due to COVID-19

Details

Canadian Securities Administrators

Temporary relief from certain regulatory filings available to investment funds and non-investment fund issuers due to COVID-19

Details

New York

The  Investor Protection Bureau’s relief end date has been  extended to June 6, 2020

Details

North Carolina

NC Secretary of State’s Emergency Video Notarization Proposal Signed Into Law by Governor Cooper

Emergency video notarizations are now temporarily authorized under state law for most notarial acts until August 1, 2020 as a result of the State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Previously, a notarization had to be conducted with the notary and principal signer in close physical proximity. N.C. Secretary of State Elaine F. Marshall advocated to the Governor and General Assembly for this additional flexibility for North Carolina’s 157,000 commissioned Notaries Public and those they serve.

Details

Canadian Securities Administrators

Canadian securities regulators provide temporary relief to public companies with delayed annual meetings due to COVID-19

The Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) announced today it is providing public companies with temporary blanket relief from certain filing and delivery requirements, which are generally tied to the sending of materials for annual general meetings (AGMs). With this conditional temporary relief, the CSA is giving public companies until December 31, 2020 to file their executive compensation disclosure. 

Details

Remote Exam Update

FINRA and NASAA are working together with input from other regulators and the industry to accelerate the delivery of an online testing service that will be administered and remotely proctored by our test delivery provider, Prometric.

The online test delivery service will allow candidates to use their personal or firm-provided, camera-equipped computer to take qualifications examinations. Prometric staff will proctor the examination through the camera and other online tools.

We are currently conducting a trial of the online testing service to work out any technical, operational or candidate experience issues.

We expect to launch the service on a limited basis in the near future, starting with the SIE, Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, and Series 66 with increasing capacity and exam offerings over the next four to six weeks. You can access additional details about this service on FINRA’s COVID-19 page, starting Friday May 1st.

Prometric also announced its intention to open select test centers in limited geographic locations as early as May 1. Select in-center testing will only be made available to essential service programs, including financial services programs, and capacity will be limited due to social distancing requirements. These requirements may impact already scheduled exam appointments. For the most up-to-date information about test center availability and COVID-19 impacts, please visit the Prometric COVID-19 website.

 

NASAA

Payroll Protection Program and Form U4

On April 13, 2020, FINRA issued guidance (found here) stating that a registered person who obtains a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) will not have to disclose a “compromise with a creditor” in response to Question 14K on Form U4 if the loan is wholly or partially forgiven under the terms of the PPP. The NASAA CRD/IARD Steering Committee consulted with FINRA regarding this guidance. We concur with it and further advise that the same guidance would apply to Question 14K on Form U4 for an investment adviser representative who obtains a PPP loan.

 

Canadian Securities Administrators

Canadian securities regulators to provide blanket relief for market participants due to COVID-19 

In light of recent COVID-19 developments and their impact on market participants, the Canadian Securities Administrators (CSA) will provide temporary relief from some regulatory filings required to be made on or before June 1, 2020.

Georgia


Vermont

DFR Telework for Employees
As of Friday, the vast majority of our department staff was directed to work remotely from home. A small contingent of employees will be in the office to ensure specific essential functions continue to occur, such as coordinating our COVID-19 response, receiving the mail, and processing checks. We expect this schedule to remain in effect until March 31, 2020, but it could be revised based on guidance from the Governor. Read the full letter from Commissioner Pieciak

Deadline Extension for Firms to File Annual Form ADV Amendment
Due to circumstances that a Vermont state-registered investment advisor may be experiencing related to the current or potential effects of COVID-19, the Department of Financial Regulation has extended the deadline for firms to file their annual Form ADV amendment to April 30, 2020. Please do not hesitate to contact the Securities Division if you have any questions.


Canadian Securities Administrators
Canadian securities regulators provide update on COVID-19 and potential filing delays by reporting issuers