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January 14, 2014

NFA announces the results of its 2013 Member Survey

In August, NFA sent a survey to its Members that requested feedback on all of the key areas in which Members directly interact with NFA. NFA distributed more than 3,800 surveys, to which it received 750 responses—a 15 percent increase from the previous survey conducted in 2010.

The topics covered included: the NFA examination process, disclosure document review, the Information Center, NFA's website, NFA's educational resources and NFA's various filing systems.

The results of the survey were generally positive. However, we did receive a number of helpful suggestions and are taking the following steps to respond to this feedback.

•    Respondents felt that NFA examiners could be more knowledgeable about areas of risk and critical issues facing firms. NFA has implemented a number of initiatives focused on the training and professional development of our staff. For example, all compliance staff are required to complete Certified Fraud Examiner training and pass the required examination to obtain certified fraud examiner designation. NFA now also regularly has "Member Lecture Training" sessions, in which a senior staff person from a Member firm discusses industry topics with NFA staff in areas relating to risk management, back office operations, trading practices and front office operations.

•    Several respondents felt that NFA's disclosure document reviews were too detailed. Because the CFTC delegates this responsibility to NFA, the substance of NFA's review comments is largely dictated to us by the CFTC. However, we're discussing these issues with the CFTC. Additionally, we are in the process of developing templates to help CTA Members create their disclosure documents.

•    A number of comments indicated that NFA's website is difficult to navigate. Given the sheer volume of information on the website, it will always be a challenge to ensure that all of the information Members desire is just one click away, but we're currently exploring avenues that may address this concern.

•    Respondents noted that they would like to see a broader range of educational programs for all categories of Members. NFA currently is in the process of planning programs for 2014 that will hopefully meet their needs.

•    Respondents commented on the strict password protocol on NFA's website. NFA is required to utilize this protocol standard due to the organization's role in collecting and maintaining data for the government. This standard requires the use of strong passwords that must be changed on a periodic basis. NFA has added language to the website to remind members as to why NFA enforces such a strong password protocol.

We would like to remind Members that they don't need to wait for a Member survey to provide feedback to NFA. We are always available through telephone and email to receive your comments and suggestions.

NFA is the premier independent provider of efficient and innovative regulatory programs that safeguard the integrity of the futures markets.
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