Compliance officers at some bank brokerages said they would support a rule requiring them to be licensed as "principals."

The rule, proposed by the National of Securities Dealers' regulatory arm, would require chief compliance officers to take the series 24 exam covering supervisory principles. The NASD submitted the rule for comment to the industry last week.

Currently compliance officers may take the exam, though they are not required to. Nonetheless, Deborah Bernot, the president of Cal Fed Investments, said she would not hire a compliance officer without the license.

"It's a basic requirement as far as I'm concerned," said Ms. Bernot, who heads the brokerage arm of San Francisco-based Golden State Bancorp.

Carl Cline, the director of compliance at Fifth Third Securities, a unit of Cincinnati-based Fifth Third Bancorp, also supports a requirement, though he said it is rare for compliance officers to not have the license.

The NASD has also requested comment on whether an alternative test for chief compliance officers should be developed. Members have until July 16 to respond.

In a separate notice, the NASD provided interpretive guidance on whether certain individuals-including outside directors, general counsel, and research personnel-are required to be registered.

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