17 CFR 247.700 - Defined terms relating to the networking exception from the definition of “broker.”
When used with respect to the Third Party Brokerage Arrangements (“Networking”) Exception from the definition of the term “broker” in section 3(a)(4)(B)(i) of the Act (15 U.S.C. 78c(a)(4)(B)(i)) in the context of transactions with a customer, the following terms shall have the meaning provided:
(a) Contingent on whether the referral results in a transaction means dependent on whether the referral results in a purchase or sale of a security; whether an account is opened with a broker or dealer; whether the referral results in a transaction involving a particular type of security; or whether it results in multiple securities transactions; provided, however, that a referral fee may be contingent on whether a customer:
(1) Contacts or keeps an appointment with a broker or dealer as a result of the referral; or
(2) Meets any objective, base-line qualification criteria established by the bank or broker or dealer for customer referrals, including such criteria as minimum assets, net worth, income, or marginal federal or state income tax rate, or any requirement for citizenship or residency that the broker or dealer, or the bank, may have established generally for referrals for securities brokerage accounts.
(1) Incentive compensation means compensation that is intended to encourage a bank employee to refer customers to a broker or dealer or give a bank employee an interest in the success of a securities transaction at a broker or dealer. The term does not include compensation paid by a bank under a bonus or similar plan that is:
(i) Paid on a discretionary basis; and
(ii) Based on multiple factors or variables and:
(A) Those factors or variables include multiple significant factors or variables that are not related to securities transactions at the broker or dealer;
(B) A referral made by the employee is not a factor or variable in determining the employee's compensation under the plan; and
(C) The employee's compensation under the plan is not determined by reference to referrals made by any other person.
(2) Nothing in this paragraph (b) shall be construed to prevent a bank from compensating an officer, director or employee under a bonus or similar plan on the basis of any measure of the overall profitability or revenue of:
(i) The bank, either on a stand-alone or consolidated basis;
(ii) Any affiliate of the bank (other than a broker or dealer), or any operating unit of the bank or an affiliate (other than a broker or dealer), if the affiliate or operating unit does not over time predominately engage in the business of making referrals to a broker or dealer; or
(iii) A broker or dealer if:
(A) Such measure of overall profitability or revenue is only one of multiple factors or variables used to determine the compensation of the officer, director or employee;
(B) The factors or variables used to determine the compensation of the officer, director or employee include multiple significant factors or variables that are not related to the profitability or revenue of the broker or dealer;
(C) A referral made by the employee is not a factor or variable in determining the employee's compensation under the plan; and
(D) The employee's compensation under the plan is not determined by reference to referrals made by any other person.
(c) Nominal one-time cash fee of a fixed dollar amount means a cash payment for a referral, to a bank employee who was personally involved in referring the customer to the broker or dealer, in an amount that meets any of the following standards:
(1) The payment does not exceed:
(i) Twice the average of the minimum and maximum hourly wage established by the bank for the current or prior year for the job family that includes the employee; or
(ii) 1/1000th of the average of the minimum and maximum annual base salary established by the bank for the current or prior year for the job family that includes the employee; or
(2) The payment does not exceed twice the employee's actual base hourly wage or 1/1000th of the employee's actual annual base salary; or
(3) The payment does not exceed twenty-five dollars ($25), as adjusted in accordance with paragraph (f) of this section.
(d) Job family means a group of jobs or positions involving similar responsibilities, or requiring similar skills, education or training, that a bank, or a separate unit, branch or department of a bank, has established and uses in the ordinary course of its business to distinguish among its employees for purposes of hiring, promotion, and compensation.
(e) Referral means the action taken by one or more bank employees to direct a customer of the bank to a broker or dealer for the purchase or sale of securities for the customer's account.
(f) Inflation adjustment -
(1) In general. On April 1, 2012, and on the 1st day of each subsequent 5-year period, the dollar amount referred to in paragraph (c)(3) of this section shall be adjusted by:
(i) Dividing the annual value of the Employment Cost Index For Wages and Salaries, Private Industry Workers (or any successor index thereto), as published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, for the calendar year preceding the calendar year in which the adjustment is being made by the annual value of such index (or successor) for the calendar year ending December 31, 2006; and
(ii) Multiplying the dollar amount by the quotient obtained in paragraph (f)(1)(i) of this section.
(2) Rounding. If the adjusted dollar amount determined under paragraph (f)(1) of this section for any period is not a multiple of $1, the amount so determined shall be rounded to the nearest multiple of $1.