The Securities and Exchange Commission is publishing its views on the operation of its rule permitting broker-dealers to store required records in electronic form. Under the Rule 17a-4, electronic records must be preserved exclusively in a non-rewriteable and non-erasable format. This interpretation clarifies that broker-dealers may employ a storage system that prevents alteration or erasure of the records for their required retention period.
Broker-dealers are allowed to preserve records on "electronic storage media." Rule 17a-4 defines the term "electronic storage media" as any digital storage medium or system.
In addition, Rule 17a-4 requires that preservation of electronic storage media be done exclusively in a non-rewriteable and non-erasable format. WORM optical media (write once read many) is used for compliance with Rule 17a-4. Also, the member, broker or dealer must be stored seperately from the original. This duplicate copy of the record must be stored on any medium acceptable for the required.
Rule 17a-4 is commonly grouped with SEC Rule 17a-3. Together, these rules require:
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Details on 17a-4 on SEC.gov
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