Broker-Dealer

News & Analysis as of

“It’s Not a Culture War” – Yet?

On May 23, 2016, at FINRA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., Richard Ketchum, FINRA’s chairman and CEO, delivered a speech that shed a little light on FINRA’s recent sweep letter relating to firm culture....more

Bridging the Week - May 2016 #4

Two Related Broker-Dealers To Pay US $17 Million for Widespread AML Compliance Failures; Former AML Compliance Officer Also Sanctioned: Raymond James & Associates, Inc. (RJA), Raymond James Financial Services, Inc....more

SEC Approves FINRA Rule 2273

The SEC has approved FINRA Rule 2273, which requires a transferring representative to send customers an educational communication regarding firm recruitment practices and account transfers. The rule is designed to address...more

SEC Approves FINRA’s Educational Communication Rule

The SEC recently approved FINRA’s new Rule 2273 (Educational Communication Related to Recruitment Practices and Account Transfers), which requires delivery of an educational communication prepared by FINRA to customers of a...more

Bank Regulators Revive Restrictions on Incentive-Based Compensation

Financial regulators have proposed new rules limiting the incentive pay of employees and other service providers at financial institutions. The Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 prohibits incentive compensation that encourages...more

Broker, Compliance Officer Fined For AML Failures

Money laundering continues to be a key focus of regulators. Recently, for example, FINCEN Director Jennifer Shasky Calvery discussed money laundering through real estate transactions. Earlier this year the SEC brought an...more

FinCEN Finalizes Long-Awaited Customer Due Diligence Rule

On May 6, FinCEN issued a final rule imposing standardized customer due diligence requirements for banks, broker-dealers, mutual funds, futures commission’s merchants and introducing brokers in commodities. Subject to...more

Treasury Announces Key Regulations and Legislation to Counter Money Laundering and Corruption, Combat Tax Evasion

On May 5, 2016, the U.S. Department of the Treasury announced several actions to strengthen financial transparency. Treasury announced a Customer Due Diligence (CDD) Final Rule, proposed Beneficial Ownership legislation and...more

Crowdfunding Begins on May 16, 2016

Funding portal registration is now available through FINRA. This LawFlash discusses funding portals, which are the intermediaries through which crowdfunding will occur, specifically regarding the registration process...more

Stop Faxing

I’ve long thought that sending faxes was a pretty silly means of communication. Don’t send me a fax. I don’t want it. At some point I’m hoping that even my kids’ doctor’s office will get dragged into the 20th century and...more

FINRA Proposes Arbitration Rule Change to Permit Offset of Awards

Last week, FINRA sought approval from the SEC for a proposed change to the FINRA arbitration rules, under which monetary awards requiring the parties to pay each other damages would be offset, so the party owing the larger...more

After Manipulating 40 Stocks, Caught On A Wire Tap

Gregg Mulholland pleaded guilty to charges based the manipulation of the securities of 40 different firms over a four year period, beginning in 2010. The manipulations yielded over $250 million in trading profits which were...more

SEC Finally Approves FINRA’s Watered-Down Recruitment Broker Bonus Disclosure Rule

Lost in the commotion surrounding the Department of Labor's new fiduciary rule was the Securities and Exchange Commission's approval of FINRA's recruitment bonus disclosure rule, which requires action by broker dealers when...more

SEC Publishes Consolidated Audit Trail Plan

The plan would create a single database to enable regulators to track all trading activity in the US equity and options markets. On April 27, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) published for public...more

DOL issues final fiduciary rule defining "investment advice" under erisa and the code

New Rule Introduces Significant Changes to Fiduciary Advice Definition, Revises Existing Prohibited Transaction Exemptions, and Creates New Prohibited Transaction Exemptions. On April 6, 2016, the U.S. Department of...more

Continuing Data Security Lessons from the SEC

In September, we reported that the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled charges against a registered investment adviser for a violation of Rule 30(a) of Regulation S-P (17 C.F.R. 248.30(a))(“Safeguards Rule”) for...more

US Department of Labor’s Fiduciary Rule Introduces a Brave New World

Final rule reflects some concessions, but its broad scope and compliance costs will cause financial services advisers to re-evaluate their business models. On April 6, 2016, the US Department of Labor (the DOL) released...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Special Issue: Implications of the DOL Fiduciary Rule for...

On April 6, 2016, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) issued its final conflict of interest regulations, which significantly expand who is considered a fiduciary when dealing with a retirement account. The new regulations,...more

Avoiding a Messy Break-Up: How a Firm’s Investigation Can Deflect a Financial Advisor’s Form U-5 Defamation Claim

Breaking up is hard to do. In the investment industry, it can be even harder because one half of the couple needs to publish the reasons for the break-up. When a registered representative separates from a broker-dealer...more

DOL Releases Final Regulations to Expand ERISA ‘Fiduciary’ Definition

In Depth - After more than five years of development and revision, the US Department of Labor (DOL) released final regulations to redefine a “fiduciary” under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974, as...more

SEC Probes Retirement Advice

The SEC has been sending lengthy sweep examination letters to many registered investment advisers (RIAs) and broker-dealers, requesting a broad variety of information regarding retirement plan advice. A form of the...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 5

Electronic Structured Product Systems and FINRA’s Robo-Advisor Report - In a prior issue of this publication, we wrote about electronic structured note issuance platforms, and how these might be affected by U.S....more

Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016 Passes Muster in U.S. House of Representatives

On April 28, 2016, the U.S. House of Representative passed the Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016 (H.R. 5019) by a vote of 411 to 6. This bill directs the SEC to amend its regulations under the Securities Act of...more

Joint Notice: MSRB and FINRA Increasing Scrutiny of Private Bank Placements

Direct lending by banks has proliferated in the $3.7 trillion municipal bond market as states, local governments and non-profits find that they can borrow, in the form of direct loans, at interest rates comparable to those on...more

House of Representatives Passes the HALOS Act; Fair Access to Investment Research Act of 2016 is Introduced

On April 27, 2016, the House of Representatives passed the Helping Angels Lead Our Startups Act (H.R. 4498) (the “HALOS Act”), which was first introduced on April 16, 2015. The HALOS Act directs the SEC to amend Regulation D...more

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