Customer Accounts - Maintaining Customer Accounts

Financial Background
A client's financial situation may change, so it is important for representatives to verify periodically that the customer's information is still accurate. Clients may not be forthcoming with such changes, but clues such as changes in purchases and sales may indicate otherwise.

As an investor ages, his or her risk tolerance, investment time horizon and goals change. All clients will modify their investment objectives to match changes during their lifetime.

Address Changes
A change in address may affect the ability of a registered rep or broker-dealer firm to serve a client. If a broker-dealer or rep is not registered in the state in which a client now lives, no business may be transacted until the registration is updated.

Transferring Accounts
When a customer wishes to transfer an account from one broker-dealer to another, the customer must sign a transfer request with the new member firm, which is mailed to the carrying firm.

Both member firms must coordinate their activities to expedite the transfer:

  • the client's new firm must immediately submit the transfer request to the carrying firm, and
  • the carrying firm must either validate the instructions or take exception within three (3) business days.
  • Any exceptions must be resolved in an expeditious manner by the two firms.
  • Causes for exceptions to the transfer include incomplete or improperly signed transfer instructions or having no record of the account. Otherwise, the carrying firm is obligated to make the transfer as quickly as possible.

Upon receiving the transfer instructions, the carrying firm must cancel all open orders and not accept new orders. It must return the transfer instructions to the new member firm with a list of securities positions and any money balance in the account. It has four (4) days to complete the account transfer to the new member firm following the validation of the transfer instructions. Most firms today use the automated customer securities account transfer services of the National Securities Clearing Corporation's Automated Customer Account Transfer Service, or ACATS.

Account Statements
Broker-dealers are required to provide customers with a statement at least quarterly, although if any activity has occurred in the account, the usual practice is to provide a statement for the month in which the activity has occurred. The account statement contains the following information:

  • Cash balances
  • All security positions
  • Activity in the account since the last statement

You will often need to explain to your clients when and why they will receive statements. Some clients dislike receiving statements on a monthly basis because they don't like the extra paper, so you must explain to them why your firm is obligated to send a statement when there is activity in the account.

Death or Incompetence of the Account Owner
Related Articles
  1. Professionals

    Career Advice: Financial Analyst Vs. Investment Banker

    Read an in-depth comparison about working as a Financial Analyst vs. working as an Investment Banker, two highly prestigious business careers.
  2. Professionals

    Who Needs to Take the Series 65?

    Most states require individuals to pass the Series 65 exam in order to act as investment advisors.
  3. Investing Basics

    How to Vet Financial Advisors Via BrokerCheck

    Many people research restaurants or movies, but few select brokers or financial advisors with much research. Here's how BrokerCheck can help.
  4. Professionals

    Career Advice: Financial Planner Vs. Stockbroker

    Read an in-depth review of a career as a financial planner as opposed to a career as a stockbroker, including how to decide which is best for you.
  5. Term

    Understanding the Maintenance Margin

    A maintenance margin is the minimum amount of equity that must be kept in a margin account.
  6. Investing Basics

    Brokers and RIAs: One and the Same?

    Brokers and registered investment advisors have some key differences. Here's what you need to know.
  7. Professionals

    Is a Google Robo-Advisor on the Horizon?

    It's possible that Google is looking to get into the robo-advisor business, either as a new venture or as a way to provide more benefits to employees.
  8. Professionals

    Understanding Series 6

    Upon successful completion of the Series 6, an individual will have the qualifications needed to sell open end mutual funds and variable annuities
  9. Professionals

    Top Strategies on How to Become a Stock Broker

    Gunning to be a stock broker and want an edge? Here's some veteran advice.
  10. Trading Systems & Software

    Steps to Starting Up an Independent Broker Dealer

    Launching your own broker-dealer is a lot of work, but the potential payoff is great, both personally and financially.
  1. Maintenance Margin

    The minimum amount of equity that must be maintained in a margin ...
  2. Series 6

    A securities license entitling the holder to register as a limited ...
  3. Comprehensive Automated Risk Data ...

    The Comprehensive Automated Risk Data System (CARDS) is an initiative ...
  4. Corporate Financing Committee

    A regulatory group that reviews documentation that is submitted ...
  5. Series 79

    A examination to ensure a candidate is qualified to become a ...
  6. Research Analyst

    A person who prepares investigative reports on equity securities. ...
  1. Do financial advisors need to pass the Series 7 exam?

    The exact nature of a financial advisor's job responsibilities determines whether he must have a Series 7 license. If a financial ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. Is a financial advisor required to have a degree?

    Financial advisors are not required to have university degrees. However, they are required to pass certain exams administered ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Do financial advisors need to be approved by FINRA?

    The term "financial advisor" can refer to a couple of different roles. It most often refers to a broker-dealer or an investment ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does a broker decide which customers are eligible to open a margin account?

    Brokers have the sole discretion to determine which customers may open margin accounts with them, although there are regulations ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What are some of the major regulatory agencies responsible for overseeing financial ...

    There are a number of agencies assigned to regulate and oversee financial institutions and financial markets, including the ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. Why is the Nasdaq more heavily weighted to tech stocks than other stock exchanges?

    The Nasdaq became the world's first electronic stock exchange at its inception in 1971. The exchange's dedication to advancing ... Read Full Answer >>
Hot Definitions
  1. Term Deposit

    A deposit held at a financial institution that has a fixed term, and guarantees return of principal.
  2. Zero-Sum Game

    A situation in which one person’s gain is equivalent to another’s loss, so that the net change in wealth or benefit is zero. ...
  3. Capitalization Rate

    The rate of return on a real estate investment property based on the income that the property is expected to generate.
  4. Gross Profit

    A company's total revenue (equivalent to total sales) minus the cost of goods sold. Gross profit is the profit a company ...
  5. Revenue

    The amount of money that a company actually receives during a specific period, including discounts and deductions for returned ...
  6. Normal Profit

    An economic condition occurring when the difference between a firm’s total revenue and total cost is equal to zero.
Trading Center
You are using adblocking software

Want access to all of Investopedia? Add us to your “whitelist”
so you'll never miss a feature!