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CFPB Moves to Ban Class Action Waivers But Will Not Ban Individual Arbitration

In a move that the financial industry long anticipated but nonetheless greeted with loud groans, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) on October 7, 2015 proposed to ban class action waivers in contracts for...more

Investment Adviser Settles SEC Cybersecurity Enforcement Action; SEC Issues Investor Alert

On September 22, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and R.T. Jones Capital Equities Management, Inc. (“R.T. Jones”), a St. Louis-based investment adviser, settled charges that R.T. Jones failed to adopt...more

Financial Services Weekly News - October 2015

Regulatory Developments - FINRA Files Proposed Rule Change to Apply Markup Rule to Government Securities: On Sept. 30 FINRA filed with the SEC a proposed rule change, published in the Federal Register on Oct. 6, to...more

Strike Suit Offers Conjectures, And Little More, About Scottrade Data Breach

As reported on Friday in the Krebs on Security blog, online broker Scottrade had sent an e-mail to customers earlier that day stating that it recently had learned from law enforcement officials that Scottrade was one of a...more

SEC Brings First Cybersecurity Enforcement Proceeding in Wake of Risk Alert

Highlights Areas of High Risk and Examination Priorities for Financial Industry Firms - On September 15, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC’s) Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations (OCIE),...more

Hacked Investment Advisor Fined $75,000 for Lack of Cyber-Security Measures

Many in the investment advisory community are following the story of R.T. Jones Capital Equities Management, an investment advisor that, according to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), suffered a hack exposing the...more

Investment Adviser and SEC Agree to Settle Charges Arising out of Failure to Adopt Written Cybersecurity Policies Required by the...

The SEC charged investment adviser R.T. Jones with willfully violating the Safeguards Rule by failing to adopt written policies and procedures designed to protect customer records and information. The Safeguards Rule requires...more

SEC Ramps up Cybersecurity Scrutiny With Examination Priorities and an Enforcement Action

Why it matters - Signaling that it will continue to increase its scrutiny of firms' cybersecurity readiness, the Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a...more

SEC Steps Up Cybersecurity Enforcement

September has been a busy month for the SEC in addressing cybersecurity. In the span of a week, the SEC issued a new alert in connection with its cybersecurity examination of Wall Street firms, entered a Cease and Desist...more

The SEC Charges Investment Adviser with Violating Regulation S-P by Failing to Adopt Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures

In recent years, the SEC has been focused on cybersecurity. It has issued risk alerts, conducted examinations and provided guidance about what the agency sees as widespread weaknesses in many policies and procedures to...more

Montana Temporarily Reduces Licensing Renewal Fees

Montana has adopted a temporary rule to reduce certain licensing renewal fees by 50 percent for the period of January 1, 2016 through December 31, 2016. The Department of Administration believes that adopting the Uniform...more

SEC Sanctions Investment Adviser Under the Safeguards Rule

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) has sanctioned an investment adviser and fined it $75,000 for failing to “adopt written policies and procedures reasonably designed to protect customer records and information.”...more

SEC Charges Investment Adviser With Failure to Adopt Proper Cybersecurity Policies and Procedures

A registered investment adviser agreed to settle SEC charges that it failed to adopt adequate cybersecurity policies and procedures reasonably designed to protect customer records and information as required by Rule 30(a) of...more

SEC Announces Cybersecurity Enforcement Action

On September 22, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced the settlement of an enforcement action against a St. Louis-based registered investment adviser (Adviser) brought under Rule 30(a) of Regulation...more

Financial Services Weekly News - September 2015 #4

Regulatory Developments - NYDFS Announces Approval of First BitLicense Application from a Virtual Currency Firm: The New York State Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) announced Sept. 22 that it has approved...more

Virtual Currencies - Mining the Possibilities

There are two distinct narratives surrounding virtual currencies. One picks up on countercultural elements – an extreme free market environment beloved by anarchists and criminals. The other describes a technology as...more

FINRA to Propose Action on Exploitation of Elderly Investors

On September 17, 2015, FINRA announced that it would propose rules to help member firms protect seniors and other vulnerable adults from financial exploitation. The proposal would create a safe harbor enabling broker-dealer...more

SEC to Conduct Second Round of Cybersecurity Examinations

On September 15, 2015, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued a Risk Alert announcing its second round of examinations of registered investment...more

Cybersecurity, Round 2: OCIE Announces Areas of Focus for Cybersecurity Examinations

On September 15, 2015, OCIE issued a risk alert relating to its new cybersecurity examination initiative. This is the second round of these examinations, and the alert provides a detailed look at OCIE’s current areas of...more

Financial Services Weekly News - September 2015 #3

Regulatory Developments: CFTC Grants Temporary Registration as SEF to LedgerX Bitcoin Options Exchange and Clearing House - On Sept. 10 the CFTC announced that it had issued an Order of Temporary Registration as a...more

Pennsylvania Regulator Addresses Cybersecurity

On September 8, Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities’ Secretary Robin Wiessmann issued a letter to Pennsylvania state-chartered, licensed, and registered financial services institutions and companies regarding...more

SEC Administrative Law Judges Ruled Unconstitutional

Introduction - A recent decision from the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York concludes that the manner in which Administrative Law Judges (“ALJs”) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission...more

Applicability of 'Investment Purpose' Exemption to HSR Reportability Focuses on Intent of Equity Purchasers

If a purchaser’s goals shift to include influence on the business management or board composition of the target issuer, an HSR filing must be considered. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC or Commission) has once again...more

CFPB Wins MTD, But Loses on Scienter Standard for Aiding-and-Abetting Claims

A federal judge has rejected the CFPB’s argument that the CFPA should incorporate a lower standard for “recklessness” than that to secondary liability under the Securities and Exchange Act of 1934 (“SEC Act”). On September 1,...more

National Futures Association Proposes Cybersecurity Guidance for NFA Member Firms

NFA links NFA’s supervisory requirements with its proposed requirements mandating that NFA Members have information systems security programs. The National Futures Association (NFA) has proposed cybersecurity...more

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