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SEC 17a (3, 4)

Who is required to comply?
All persons engaged in trading securities as a broker or dealer, and persons associated with the business.


What is it?

The Securities and Exchange Commission on Electronic Storage of Broker-Dealer Records, in effect May 2003. Establishes standards for document and email retention in an accessible non-rewriteable and non- erasable format.


What are the requirements?

The SECa-4 requires brokers and dealers to preserve email records for six years; the first two years of which must be in an accessible location. All records must be time-stamped with a unique and sequential identification number, stored in a non-rewriteable/non-erasable format, organized and indexed with a duplicate copy stored separately from the original. The indexes should also be duplicated and stored separately from the original. They should also be available for examination and preserved as long as the original records, for at least six years.


What is the cost of non-compliance?

Heavy fines, imprisonment and loss of corporate reputation.


What is the significance of SEC 17a (3, 4) compliance?

The act is designed to protect investors and brokers from fraudulent activity and misinterpretation through electronic messaging.