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November 30, 2009
NFA adds new questions to Annual Questionnaire to assess Member's futures-related business
NFA has approximately 500 firms that are NFA Members but have represented to NFA via their Annual Questionnaire that they are not doing any business that requires membership ("Inactive firms"). Almost universally, these Members indicate that they maintain their membership because they may do business in the future.
Since 2006, NFA has taken several Member Responsibility Actions against Member firms that had told NFA they were inactive. These actions were taken after NFA obtained information from reviewing the internet, through contacts with other NFA Members, and by receiving customer complaints suggesting that these firms were in fact active.
Due to these disciplinary actions, NFA's Board of Directors requested that beginning in early 2010 NFA's BASIC system display information reflecting whether firms are actively engaged in futures-related business activity or not. Presumably, if a Member is identified in BASIC as not conducting futures-related business, this will raise a "red flag" to potential customers who are being solicited by an Inactive Firm.
Specifically, BASIC will contain information regarding whether or not the Member has on-exchange customer accounts, manages customer accounts, operates pools, is engaged in retail off-exchange foreign currency activities and/or is soliciting customer business. This information will be based solely on information that Member firms provide in their responses to the questions in the Firm and DR Information section of the Annual Questionnaire.
NFA has re-designed this portion of the Annual Questionnaire by adding new questions and moving certain questions from other sections. Firms may update the answers in the Firm and DR Information section of the Annual Questionnaire at any time.
It is critical that Members access and complete questions in the Firm and DR Information section of the Annual Questionnaire as soon as possible. If the questions are not answered, the answers will default to no activity, which is what will be displayed in BASIC.
Please follow these instructions to access the Annual Questionnaire and provide the required information.
1. Open the Questionnaire system using this link: https://www.nfa.futures.org/SignOn/Default.aspx?app=SPECIAL_QUESTION
2. Enter your ORS ID and password to logon.
3. From the "Online Questionnaire Index" screen, select "Firm and DR Information" under "Questionnaire Type." (In addition, if you have not completed your most recent Questionnaire, you should update the previous version at this time.)
4. Update the Preparer Information on the next screen, if necessary, and then click "Next."
5. To respond to this special request,
a. Answer the questions listed at the top of the screen under the heading "Please address the following questions regarding you firm's business operations".
b. After answering the applicable question(s), scroll to the bottom of the screen and click the "Submit Filing" button.
c. The system will then confirm that you submitted the updated Questionnaire to NFA.