Fingerprinting
National Futures Association

National Futures Association

With certain exceptions, all persons and organizations that intend to do business as futures professionals must register under the Commodity Exchange Act (Act). The primary purposes of registration are to screen an applicant's fitness to engage in business as a futures professional and to identify those individuals and organizations whose activities are subject to federal regulation. In addition, all individuals and firms that wish to conduct futures-related business with the public must apply for NFA Membership or Associate status

Members are responsible for performing due diligence and establishing appropriate procedures in the hiring process. Members are required to submit fingerprint cards for each of their applicants for registration as associated persons or for approval as a principal. Any individual that is applying to register as an Associated Person, Floor Broker, Floor Trader or to be listed as a Principal must send a completed fingerprint card to the National Futures Association unless:

  • the individual is currently registered with the CFTC in any capacity or is listed as a principal of a current CFTC registrant;
  • NFA has received fingerprint card results from the Federal Bureau of Investigation within 90 days preceding the date the individual's Form 8-R is filed with NFA;
  • the individual is a director but is not also an officer or employee of the firm ("outside director") may file with NFA a Notice Pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(c). A firm that has filed a Notice Pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(c) with respect to an outside director described therein must file with NFA on behalf of such outside director a Form 8-R completed in accordance with all pertinent instructions and verified by the outside director. The exemption provided for by this paragraph is limited solely to the outside director's fingerprint requirement and does not affect any other duties or responsibilities of the firm or the outside directors under these Rules. In appropriate cases, NFA may require additional information from the firm with respect to any outside director referred to in the Notice Pursuant to CFTC Regulation 3.21(c);
  • any sponsor that is registered as a Broker/Dealer that files a Form 8-R on behalf of an AP applicant or a principal may, in lieu of submitting a fingerprint card for the applicant or principal, represent in the Form 8-R that, within the last 90 days, an application for registration as a General Securities Representative has been filed on behalf of the applicant with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and that a fingerprint card containing the applicant's or principal's fingerprints accompanied the application
  • NFA can only accept and process a complete FBI "applicant card". Applicants are encouraged to submit more than one set of fingerprints with their application to avoid delays in obtaining additional sets if necessary for processing

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission eliminated a widely used exemption from commodity pool operator ('CPO') registration on February 9th 2012. Since 2003, in connection with offerings to sophisticated investors, many hedge fund managers have relied on CFTC Rule 4.13(a)(4) to avoid CPO registration. The practical effect of the change is that sponsors of many hedge funds will have to register with the CTFC as CPOs and become subject to some, but not all, of the CTFC's disclosure, reporting and record keeping requirments. As part of the registration process, the principals and certain employees of the CPO will need to submit fingerprint cards

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