Securities Finance & Banking Administrative Agency

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SEC Proposes to Amend Rule 15b9-1

The Securities and Exchange Commission is proposing to amend Rule 15b9-1 under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended, to require broker-dealers that engage in off-exchange proprietary trading to become members of a...more

A Compilation of Enforcement and Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement Matters - SEC 2015 Rulemaking Geared to Asset Managers - Certain Personnel of Registered Municipal Advisers Will Be Subject to Qualification Exams - Rulemaking Completed for Reg A+, But Will It Matter? -...more

“A” is For Approved: SEC Finalizes Regulation A+, the Small Offering Exemption

Securities lawyers had a “first time in forever” moment on March 25, when the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted to approve landmark reforms to its Regulation A, the so-called (and until now little-used)...more

At the State Level, Is a Fixed-Index Annuity?

The so-called Harkin Amendment to the Dodd-Frank Act was intended to keep fixed-index annuities outside the SEC’s jurisdiction. But the issue remains unsettled on the state level. For example, an Illinois state court recently...more

SEC Charges Former CEO, Firm Based On Concealed Perks

The former President and CEO of a public company repeatedly charged personal expenses to the firm largely by falsifying documents and records. Although the executive admitted certain misdeeds to internal investigators...more

SEC Rule Change Would Require High-Frequency Traders to Register with FINRA

On March 25, 2015, the SEC proposed an amendment to Rule 15b9-1 that would require high-frequency trading firms to register with FINRA. According to the SEC, the proposed amendment will better align the scope of Rule 15b9-1...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

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

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

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

CFTC to Shift Enforcement Actions to Administrative Courts

The CFTC plans to revive the use of administrative courts to bring enforcement actions for violations of the Commodity Exchange Act and CFTC regulations, according to recent remarks by Aitan Goelman, Director of the Division...more

District Court Allows NCUA’s RMBS Suit to Proceed Against RBS

On March 16, 2015, Judge George Wu of the United States District Court for the Central District of California denied RBS Securities Inc.’s motion to dismiss the National Credit Union Administration’s second amended complaint....more

SEC Considers Active ETF Listing Standards, Approves Paired Class ETP

Although the proposed listing standards could significantly reduce regulatory barriers, commissioner dissent in exchange-traded product order underscores regulatory concerns about novel products....more

SEC Obtains Freeze Order In Microcap Manipulation Action

Microcap fraud is an on-going enforcement priority of the Commission. In SEC v. Craven, Civil Action No. 15-cv-1820 (S.D.N.Y. Filed March 11, 2015), the Commission brought a manipulation action against a father and son team,...more

White Calls for SEC to Adopt Uniform Fiduciary Standard

SEC Chair Mary Jo White said Tuesday that the SEC needs to move forward on a uniform fiduciary standard for the financial industry, including brokers. Addressing the annual meeting of the Securities Industry and Financial...more

Portfolio Manager in SEC Investigation Makes a Bad Day Worse

Portfolio manager Steven Hart made a difficult situation worse. He was under investigation by the SEC. That inquiry focused on whether he had made a series of matched trades. The investigation resulted in an SEC enforcement...more

REMIT Registration: What do you need to know?

The EU Regulation on Wholesale Energy Market Integrity and Transparency (REMIT)1 came into force on 28 December 2011. It establishes an insider trading, market manipulation, disclosure, registration and transaction reporting...more

Study Finds Whistleblowers Increase Penalties of Regulatory Enforcement Actions

A recent academic paper found that whistleblower involvement in financial misrepresentation enforcement actions tends to increase (1) penalties against firms by an average of $77 million, (2) penalties against employees by an...more

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