SEC Delays CAT Deadline for Broker-Dealers Amid COVID-19

The regulator wants firms to focus their efforts on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has yet again pushed back the date for when broker-dealers will need to report data to the regulator’s Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT), allowing firms to instead focus their efforts on dealing with the coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having on their businesses.

In a statement published on Monday, the US regulator said that it had voted in favour of issuing two exemptive orders in which it will move the CAT implementation forward, with the first action required on the 22nd of June, 2020.

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Back in March, the SEC had released a no-action letter saying it would not enforce CAT implementation deadlines until the 20th of May, 2020. According to the statement published this week, the first of the exemptive orders will establish a phased CAT reporting timeline for broker-dealers and the second will allow introducing brokers that meet certain requirements to follow the small broker-dealer reporting timeline.

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“The first Commission order focuses on allowing for equity and options reporting in phases, taking into account the complexity of reporting events. In order to address the impact of COVID-19 while preserving progress toward existing milestones, the first exemptive order also allows for a delayed start to CAT reporting conditioned upon compliance with certain other obligations. These obligations include milestones related to testing and releases of CAT functionality, as well as all other compliance dates for broker-dealer reporting to the CAT.”

First SEC CAT deadline is in June

Following the latest action from the market watchdog, broker-dealers now have until the 22nd of June, 2020 until initial equities reporting for large broker-dealers and small broker-dealers that currently report to FINRA’s Order Audit Trail System (OATS) will be required.

The next important date is the 20th of July 2020 when initial options reporting for large broker-dealers will be due, and the deadline for full equities and options reporting for large and small broker-dealers is on the 13th of December 20201. On the 11th of July 2022 full customer and account reporting for large and small broker-dealers will need to be submitted.

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