“I am pleased to support these rule amendments because they will bring the Commission’s electronic recordkeeping requirements for intermediaries such as broker-dealers and security-based swap dealers in line with technological innovation,” said SEC Chair Gary Gensler. “Since the 1930s, recordkeeping obligations have been vital to maintain market integrity and the SEC’s work as the cop on the beat. Today’s rule amendments will facilitate the SEC’s ability to examine and inspect records consistent with modern technology. This will enhance the Commission’s ability to preserve market integrity and protect investors.”
The SEC’s broker-dealer electronic recordkeeping rule currently requires firms to preserve electronic records exclusively in a non-rewriteable, non-erasable format, known as the write once, read many format. The amendments add an audit-trail alternative under which electronic records can be preserved in a manner that permits the recreation of an original record if it is altered, over-written, or erased. The audit-trail alternative is designed to provide broker-dealers with greater flexibility in configuring their electronic recordkeeping systems so they more closely align with current electronic recordkeeping practices while also protecting the authenticity and reliability of original records. The amendments apply the same requirements to nonbank SBSDs and MSBSPs.
Among other things, to facilitate examinations and make them more efficient, the amendments also require broker-dealers and all types of SBSDs and MSBSPs to produce electronic records to securities regulators in a reasonably usable electronic format.
The adopting release will be published on SEC.gov and in the Federal Register. The final amendments will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The compliance dates for the new requirements will be six months after publication in the Federal Register in the case of broker-dealers and 12 months after publication in the Federal Register in the case of SBSDs and MSBSPs.