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Brokerage firms that try to pin the blame on regulators as they seek to bring employees back to the office are being called out by the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which denies that its rules are the reason for firms’ office mandates.

In a statement to the industry, the self-regulatory organization pushed back on claims that its rules are requiring firms to bring their employees back to the office.

The SRO said it has seen firms claiming that “new, stringent rules from FINRA” will require them to put an end to remote working. “This is incorrect,” FINRA said.

While the temporary relief that FINRA adopted to facilitate remote working in the midst of the pandemic is due to end on May 30, the SRO said its new rules on the oversight of residential locations are intended to “provide member firms greater flexibility for their registered persons to work from home.”

The new rules aim to allow both remote and hybrid work models, which, FINRA said, “are intended to provide member firms greater flexibility — not less — to allow eligible registered persons to work from home, following the expiration of temporary Covid-19 relief from existing requirements.”

“The new rules provide a practical and balanced way for firms to meet their regulatory obligations, while protecting investors, and acknowledging the need for greater workplace flexibility,” it said.

The SRO called on firms to review the new rules and the added guidance it has provided, to assess the impact on their operations.