Guidelines For Electronic Records

Regulation 17 CFR 240.17a-4

Regulation 17 CFR 240.17a-4 or 17a-4 as it is more commonly referred too is a rule issued by the Securities and Exchange Commission which outlines how certain books and records outlined in SEC 17a-3 must be retained. Over the recent years, many firms have taken a “green” approach towards their records, by either converting paper records to electronic records or simply only producing electronic records. When a firm preserves any of their books or records in electronic format, then 17a-4 provide clear direction as to how those records must be stored.

Recordkeeping highlights from SEC 17a-4

If you are an institution that is required to comply with the existing regulations of SEC 17a-4, then you must remember that:

THE MEMBER, BROKER, OR DEALER
Must notify its examining authority prior to employing electronic storage media.
STORE
Separately from the original, a duplicate copy of the record stored on any medium acceptable under § 240.17a-4 for the time required.
ORGANIZE AND INDEX
Accurately all information maintained on both original and any duplicate storage media.
A MEMBER, BROKER, OR DEALER
At all times must be able to have such indexes available for examination by the staffs of the Commission and the self- regulatory organizations of which the broker or dealer is a member.
PRESERVE THE RECORDS
Exclusively in a non-rewriteable, non-erasable format Serialize the original and, if applicable, duplicate units of storage media, and time-date for the required period of retention the information placed on such electronic storage media.
INDEXES
Each index must be duplicated and the duplicate copies must be stored separately from the original copy of each index.
EVERY MEMBER, BROKER, OR DEALER
Exclusively using electronic storage media for some or all of its record preservation under this section, at least one third party (“the undersigned”), who has access to and the ability to download information from the member’s, broker’s, or dealer’s electronic storage media to any acceptable medium under this section, shall file with the designated examining authority for the member, broker, or dealer the following undertakings with respect to such records:

Know your requirements

17a-4 clearly states how electronic records should be preserved and whether a third party is needed. For over 20 years Patrina has acted on behalf of many financial institutions as their Designated Third Party. If 17a-4 pertains to your firm or you think it may, contact Patrina today for a free consultation and let us help you meet your recordkeeping obligations. For more information on 17 CFR 240.17a-4

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