Administrative Agency Finance & Banking

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Inadequate Screening Processes Result in $7.65 Million Settlement for Violations of Various U.S. Sanctions Programs

On March 25, 2015, the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (“OFAC”) and PayPal, Inc. (“PayPal”) agreed to a $7.65 million settlement to settle potential civil liability for 486 apparent...more

SEC Approves Consolidated FINRA Rules 2040 (Payments to Unregistered Persons, Including Foreign Finders)

FINRA Rule 2040 governs the payment of transaction-based compensation by member firms to unregistered persons. Rule 2040(a) – General. Rule 2040(a) directs persons to look to SEC rules to determine whether the activities in...more

Federal and State Agencies Announce $714 Million FX Settlement

On March 19, four federal and state agencies –DOJ, the Department of Labor (DOL), the SEC, and New York Attorney General – entered into a proposed $714 million settlement agreement against a large bank to resolve allegations...more

UK Regulator Announces Its Approach to Financial Promotions in Social Media

On March 13, the UK regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published finalized guidance on its supervisory approach to financial promotions in social media (the “Guidance”). The range of social media within the...more

OIG adds new audit item to work plan

The Office of Inspector General (OIG) has added a new ongoing CFPB project to its work plan updated as of March 13, 2015. The OIG is auditing the CFPB’s compliance with the Improper Payments Information Act of 2002, as...more

Bank Settles Criminal Bank Secrecy Act and Civil Fraud Charges Arising from Its Inadequate Anti-Money Laundering Program

On March 10, 2015, the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) announced a $4.9 million settlement of criminal and civil charges against CommerceWest Bank (“CommerceWest” or the “Bank”) brought pursuant to the Bank Secrecy Act...more

Restrictions Eased for Communications-Related Items Exported to Sudan

On February 18, 2015, in a coordinated action, the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS) and Treasury Department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) announced and implemented changes to the...more

SEC Enforcement Division Outlines Focus for 2015

Action Item: Companies and individuals should continue to be mindful that the Enforcement Division will aggressively pursue securities fraud violations and will be increasing its personnel and technology resources to...more

SEC Approves ISE Rules on Information Barriers Between Customer and Proprietary Business

On March 17, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved amendments to the information barrier rule of the International Securities Exchange, LLC (ISE). As reported in the October 17, 2014, edition of the Corporate &...more

DOJ Assistant AG Delivers Remarks on Anti-Money Laundering and Financial Crimes

On March 16, DOJ Assistant AG Leslie Caldwell delivered remarks at the annual ACAMS anti-money laundering conference regarding the importance of establishing and maintaining robust compliance programs within financial...more

FinCEN Assesses $75,000 Penalty Against Check Casher Business for Violating Anti-Money Laundering Laws

On March 18, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) assessed a $75,000 civil money penalty against a Colorado check casher and its general manager and ordered it to cease all business activities for “willfully...more

Regulation SBSR: The Compliance Guide to Reporting Security-based Swaps

SEC has published reporting obligations for SBS without a finalized compliance schedule. Reporting rules for cleared and platform-executed SBS and certain cross-border transactions have not yet been finalized. On...more

FERC Lightens Compliance Load for Power Traders

In a time of increasing compliance requirements and enhanced regulatory scrutiny of power trading activities, a recent Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”) order brought some compliance relief to power traders and...more

FINRA Announces $1.5 Million Sanction Against Broker-Dealer and Bars President for Fraud

On March 12, FINRA announced an order requiring a New York-based broker-dealer to pay over $1 million in restitution and $500,000 in fines for alleged fraud in sales of a private placement offering. According to the Order,...more

SEC to Vote on Regulation A+ this Wednesday Will State Law Preemption Survive?

On Friday, March 20, 2015, the SEC announced it will vote on its proposed changes to Regulation A at an open meeting on Wednesday, March 25, 2015. These changes are generally referred to as Regulation A+ and are meant to...more

More “Broken Windows”: SEC Charges Schedule 13D Filers with Disclosure Violations for Failing to Update Ownership Reports

When a significant stockholder in a publicly-held company is considering plans to take the company private, how soon must the stockholder disclose those plans in a Schedule 13D filing?...more

ERISA — 5 Quick Points: Blowing a Deadline for Decision is Not Necessarily Fatal to Abuse of Discretion Standard

You already know that ERISA regulations require the plan administrator to render a decision on an administrative appeal within 45 days....more

Director Cordray Conducts First Ever CFPB Enforcement Appeal Hearing

On March 9, 2015, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray held oral arguments in the first appeal of a CFPB administrative enforcement action. Both counsel for the CFPB and Respondents PHH...more

FINRA Issues Notice on Background Checks for Registration Applicants

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released Regulatory Notice 15-05 to remind member firms of the new consolidated rules on mandatory background checks for individual registration. As first reported in the...more

SEC Issues Guidance Regarding Standards Applicable to Waivers of Disqualification under Regulation A and Rules 505 and 506 of...

The disqualification provisions of Rules 262 and 505 under the Securities Act make the exemptions from registration under Regulation A and Rule 505 of Regulation D unavailable for an offering if, among other things, an...more

Federal Reserve Board Proposes to Include Legal Entity Identifiers in Certain Banking Organization Reporting

One difficulty encountered by national banking authorities during the course of the 2008 global financial crisis was identifying the ultimate parent for the trades made by various subsidiaries of dealers. To assist in...more

2015 Brings Single Audit Changes

On December 26, 2013, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) published in the Federal Register Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards; Final Rule. ...more

Despite the Regulatory Hurdles France is Open to Investment

Even though France is perceived to have a burdensome regulatory regime, it is clearly open to investment. M&A transactions involving French targets totaled €120.6 billion in 2014, a sharp increase on 2013 when just €28.6...more

U.S. Supreme Court Weighs in on Labor Department’s Interpretation of Overtime Rules for Mortgage Loan Officers

We know that many of you are aware of the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association. The Court held that the U.S. Department of Labor was not required to follow notice and comment procedures in...more

DOJ Announces Two More ‘Operation Choke Point’ Settlements

With the recent announcement by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) that it had settled separate lawsuits against two small banks charged with facilitating consumer fraud through their relationships with third-party payment...more

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