The Series 33 exam was first offered in 1998 in response to the futures exchanges' desire to facilitate the AP registration of general securities representatives ("GSRs") to deal in futures on financial instruments. At the time, the exchanges predicted that this new exam would prompt many of the approximately 500,000 GSRs who were not also APs to offer futures on financial instruments.
Due to administrative and supervisory issues, BD/FCM Members have not encouraged their APs to take the Series 33. The exam has been taken only 26 times since 1998 and only six times since 2002. Only 12 people have passed the exam and become Series 33 registered APs and only three are currently active in the industry.
The Board has amended NFA Registration Rule 401(d) to eliminate the Series 33 exam. NFA will work with the NASD to resolve any timing issues relating to NASD's de-listing of the exam from their exam administration program.
With the Series 33 exam retired, the three active individuals will be grandfathered in as long as they are also registered GSRs of an NASD member firm. If these individuals were to leave the industry for more than two consecutive years and reapply for AP registration, they would be required to take and pass the Series 3 exam.
As mentioned earlier, NFA is invoking the "ten-day" provision of Section 17(j) of the Commodity Exchange Act. NFA intends to make the amendments to Registration Rule 401 effective on December 31, 2005, unless the Commission notifies NFA within the ten-day period that the Commission has determined to review the proposals for approval.