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FINRA Observes Second Anniversary of Its Senior Helpline

On April 21, 2017, FINRA issued a press release marking the second anniversary of its Securities Helpline for Seniors. ...more

FINRA Revises Its Sanction Guidelines

In April 2017, FINRA announced that it had revised its sanction guidelines for violations of its rules. The new revisions, among other things...more

4/19/2017  /  Broker-Dealer , FINRA , Sanctions

A Trio of FINRA Notices Focused on Capital Formation Issues

On April 12, 2017, FINRA released three regulatory notices for comment that propose amendments to various FINRA rules affecting capital formation. In connection with its release of the notices, FINRA President and CEO Robert...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 8, Issue 3

SEC Rolls Out “POSITIER” - The SEC’s Office of the Investor Advocate used a recent March 9, 2017 open meeting and related “Evidence Summit” to announce its new investor research initiative, “POSITIER.”1 This new acronym...more

FINRA’s Engagement Initiative

In our capacity as advisers to financial institutions, we carefully monitor FINRA’s rulemaking and enforcement activities with a view to thinking about how these affect market participants and their activities. FINRA’s March...more

Examination Priorities for 2017 from FINRA and OCIE

In these uncertain times, the predictability and regularity of the annual priorities letters from FINRA and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) is...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 8, Issue 2

Identifying Conflicts of Interest in Structured Products Offerings - With FINRA and other regulators focused on conflicts of interest in the broker-dealer industry, market participants are working diligently to identify...more

Investment Management Legal + Regulatory Update – February 2017

REGULATION - DOL Issues Additional Guidance on Fiduciary Rule - On January 13, 2017, the U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued a second set of guidance on its new fiduciary rules, which are scheduled to become...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 8, Issue 1

U.S. Court of Appeals Upholds SEC’s Backtesting Finding - In a 2016 case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, a former investment adviser lost a petition to review and vacate the decision of an SEC...more

FINRA Issues 2017 Examination Priorities Letter

Introduction - Consistent with prior practice, with the arrival of the new year, FINRA has published its key examination priorities. As in prior years, the letter covers a broad array of topics. This year’s topics...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community - Special Issue

Final TLAC Rules and Structured Products - On December 15, 2016, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) issued its final rules regarding long-term debt and total loss absorbing...more

FINRA Investor Education Foundation Announces Investor Survey Results

On December 13, 2016, the FINRA Investor Education Foundation published Investors in the United States 2016 (the “Report”), which includes the results of its investor survey of 2,000 individuals from across the United States...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 12

FDIC Adopts New Recordkeeping Requirements for Large Banks – Modifies Original Proposal as to Brokered CDs - In November 2016, the FDIC approved a final rule establishing recordkeeping requirements for insured...more

FINRA Fine Addresses Broker Compensation and Conflicts of Interest

A recent enforcement action by FINRA underscores the regulator’s continuing concern regarding how financial advisers are paid to sell investment products. In a case announced on November 28, 2016, a member firm settled...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 11

Structured Products Legal and Regulatory Conference: November 2016 - In November 2016, Morrison & Foerster LLP sponsored Risk magazine’s annual structured products legal and regulatory conference in Washington, D.C. ...more

Inside FINRA’s “Cross-Selling Sweep”

In response to recent highly-publicized scrutiny of bank cross-selling practices, FINRA announced in October 2016 that it is conducting a sweep of broker-dealers to determine the extent to which they are...more

11/3/2016  /  Banks , Broker-Dealer , Cross-Selling , FINRA

FINRA Proposes Rules to Protect Seniors from Financial Exploitation

In October 2016, FINRA filed with the SEC proposed rules designed to help brokers protect seniors and other vulnerable adults from financial exploitation. The proposal would amend existing customer account information rules...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 10

FINRA Revises its Proposed Amendments to Rule 2210 - In our recent Client Alert, we wrote about the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.’s proposed changes to Rule 2210, Communications with the Public. One of...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 9

Updating Unregistered Structured Note Programs: How Frequently? - For some types of securities offering programs, we have “black letter law” that instructs issuers how frequently the program documentation should be...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 8

Brexit and Structured Products: A Framework for Considering Disclosures - The U.K.’s recent referendum to withdraw from the European Union has affected virtually all segments of the financial industry. The structured...more

FINRA Study of Financial Literacy: Many Investors May Not Have It

In July 2016, FINRA’s Investor Education Foundation released the findings from its National Financial Capability Study. The study suggests that, while in some ways Americans have increased their financial literacy, too...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 7

Financing Subsidiaries and SEC Registration - As readers of this publication know, in order to address the expected new U.S. regulatory capital requirements, a number of U.S. bank holding companies have been creating new...more

FINRA Sanctions Investment Firm Following Unsuitable Sales of Nontraditional ETFs

On June 7, 2016, FINRA settled proceedings against a New York-based investment firm for alleged violations of its suitability and related rules, namely NASD Rule 2310 and FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010. According to FINRA,...more

Massachusetts Securities Division Searches for Rogue Brokers

According to news reports, the Massachusetts Securities Division (the “Division”) recently sent a “sweep letter” to firms asking broker-dealers to report information about their hiring policies and procedures. The Division,...more

FINRA Proposes Initial Round of Amendments to Communications Rules

In May 2016, FINRA filed with the SEC proposed revisions to its communications rules that include a few substantive revisions to existing rules, ease some burdensome filing requirements, and leave the door open for future...more

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