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Rules & Regulations

FINRA’s Gift Policy – Glacial Pace of Some Rule Changes

November 29, 2018

by Howard Haykin


In mid-2016, FINRA proposed changes to its Gifts, Gratuities and Non-Cash Compensation Rules - Regulatory Notice 16-29. The announcement was greeted by unbridled anticipation - as FINRA was finally increasing the $100 gift limit (established in 1992) to $175 per person per year, and was also discontinuing the recordkeeping requirement for gifts valued below a de minimus amount.


Alas, the planned amendments to FINRA Rule 3220 (Influencing or Rewarding Employees of Others), and the adoption of 2 new FINRA rules - Rule 3221 (Restrictions on Non-Cash Compensation) and Rule 3222 (Business Entertainment), were too good to be true. The rule changes were never adopted, ... and that $100 gift made in 1992 is now equal to $178.77. 


FINANCIALISH TAKE AWAYS.    While it's difficult to imagine what issue(s) prevented passage of those rule changes, we can only hope that FINRA addresses this folly and renews its intention to enact new gifts and entertainment guidelines. Until such time, we offer registered broker-dealers the following advice for the upcoming holiday season – 13 Gifts That Could Get You In Big Trouble With FINRA - courtesy of[It matters little that this article was published in December 2011.]