When my shares are held under direct registration, I will receive some corporate publications by mail (e.g. annual reports, proxy materials). When my shares are held in street name, my stock broker emails me when annual reports and proxy materials are published. Are stock brokers required to do this, or is it just a voluntary service provided by my stock broker? In other words, when shares are held in street name, must corporate publications be forwarded to the beneficial shareholders, or can they be left in the dark?
FINRA Rule 2251. Processing and Forwarding of Proxy and Other Issuer-Related Materials
(a) A member shall process and forward promptly all information as required by this Rule and applicable SEC rules regarding a security to the beneficial owner (or the beneficial owner's designated investment adviser) if the member carries the account in which the security is held for the beneficial owner and the security is registered in a name other than the name of the beneficial owner.
(1) Equity Securities
For an equity security, the member, subject to paragraph (e) of this Rule and applicable SEC rules, shall process and forward:
(A) all proxy material, as provided in paragraph (c) of this Rule, that is furnished to the member by the issuer of the securities or a stockholder of such issuer; and
(B) all annual reports, information statements and other material sent to stockholders that are furnished to the member by the issuer of the securities.