Broker-Dealer

News & Analysis as of

FinCEN Adopts New Customer Due Diligence Requirements for Financial Institutions

The Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) has adopted new anti-money laundering (“AML”) regulations that impose additional customer due diligence requirements on certain financial institutions...more

Regulatory Musical Chairs for Money

The SEC and FINRA continue to play musical chairs with staff resources allocated to examinations of investment advisers and broker-dealers. According to SEC Chair Mary Jo White’s remarks at an April 16 SEC Compliance...more

Pension Income Stream Products Worry FINRA

Some SEC-registered broker-dealers connect individuals wishing to cash in on their future pension payments with potential investors in such income streams. In April, the Financial Industry Regulatory Association (FINRA)...more

Financial Services Weekly News - July 2016 #3

Regulatory Developments - SEC Proposes Amendments to Update and Simplify Disclosure Requirements as Part of Overall Disclosure Effectiveness Review - On July 13, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) proposed...more

Political Contributions to the Donald J. Trump Presidential Campaign Might Adversely Affect Advisers That Have or Are Seeking...

Last week, Donald J. Trump, the Republican nominee for U.S. president, selected Governor Mike R. Pence of Indiana as his running mate for vice president. The selection of Governor Pence might have implications under the SEC’s...more

SEC Proposes Rules to Enhance Order Handling Information Available to Investors

On July 13, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed rules that “for the first time would require broker-dealers to disclose the handling of institutional orders to customers … [and] would expand the information...more

Securities Enforcement: 2016 Mid-Year Review

The Securities and Exchange Commission (the SEC or the Commission) brought over 400 enforcement actions in the first half of 2016 and is on pace to surpass its record of 807 enforcements actions in a single fiscal year, which...more

The “Fifth Pillar” of AML/BSA Compliance FinCEN Issues Final Rule for New Customer Due Diligence Requirements under the Bank...

For years, financial institutions have operated under the maxim that an effective anti-money laundering and Bank Secrecy Act compliance program (collectively “AML”) rests upon four pillars: (1) written policies and...more

"Contributions to Trump/Pence Campaign Are Subject to Pay-to-Play Rules"

On July 15, 2016, Donald Trump announced that he selected Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice presidential running mate. Contributions to the Trump/Pence campaign are now subject to prohibitions and restrictions under the...more

FINRA to Assess Member Firms’ Culture

Speaking at the Brookings Institution this April, FINRA head Richard Ketchum emphasized the importance of a broker-dealer having a "culture" that favors the firm’s customers when their interests conflict with those of the...more

SEC Sanctions Unregistered EB-5 Investments Broker

We previously warned that some individuals involved with arranging EB-5 investments may be required to register as broker-dealers (see "Immigrant Investor Program Raises SEC Broker Registration Issues" in the Summer 2014...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The SEC filed a settled FCPA action in which the employees in the China subsidiary of the firm designed and adopted a bribery scheme to circumvent the compliance procedures the company had installed as a result of an earlier...more

Disclosure Effectiveness Initiative Continues to Move Forward

On July 14, 2016, the Commission proposed for comment amendments that are intended to eliminate redundant, overlapping, outdated or superseded disclosure requirements. The amendments, if adopted, would apply to SEC reporting...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

Blog: Corp Fin Staff Issues New CDI Regarding Representations Required In Exxon Capital Exchanges

Corp Fin has posted a new CDI regarding the use of Form S-4 in connection with so-called “Exxon Capital” exchanges. In an Exxon Capital exchange (Exxon Capital Holdings Corporation (April 13, 1988)), an issuer that has...more

The DBO Wants Your Social Security Number, But Is It Legal?

Readers will recall that last year the California legislature created a statutory exemption for finders from the California’s registration requirement for broker-dealers (Chap. 743, Stats. 2015). That exemption, codified at...more

SEC Requires Admissions To Settle Another Blue Sheet Case

Blue sheets are an important tool for the SEC. Named for the fact that the form at one time was printed on blue paper, the information request requires the immediate production of key information regarding a securities...more

The SEC’s Customer Protection Rule Initiative and Whistleblower Protection Efforts – What Broker-Dealers Need to Know

On June 23, 2016, the SEC instituted a settled enforcement action against Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Inc. and Merrill Lynch Professional Clearing Corp. (collectively, “Merrill”), in which Merrill agreed to pay $415...more

Is Rule 10b-5 The “Mother Of All Litotes”?

Yesterday’s post addressed the use of litotes in California’s broker-dealer suitability rule. Litotes can be an effective rhetorical device, but as Judge Frank H. Easterbrook observed, it is also ambiguous. Associated...more

Amended FINRA Rule Will Require Margin for TBA Transactions

On June 15, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) approved the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc.’s (“FINRA”) proposed amendment to FINRA Rule 4210, which will require U.S. registered...more

Suitability Of Broker-Dealer Recommendations And Litotes

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, better known as FINRA, imposes a suitability requirement on its members. Rule 2111(a) requires, in part, that a broker-dealer or registered representative “have a reasonable basis...more

Financial Services Weekly News - July 2016

Regulatory Developments - NY DFS Adopts Final Anti-Terrorism Program Regulation - On June 30, New York’s Department of Financial Services (DFS) adopted a risk-based anti-terrorism and anti-money laundering...more

SEC Charges Adviser for Failing to Monitor Consultants

The action underscores the need for investment advisers and broker-dealers to maintain robust policies and controls when utilizing third-party contractors. On May 27, 2016, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)...more

Regulatory Update and Recent SEC Enforcement Actions

Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) Hosts National Compliance Outreach Seminar for Investment Companies and Investment Advisers In April 2016, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”), the...more

SEC Steps Up Cybersecurity Enforcement with $1 Million Fine Against Morgan Stanley

The Security and Exchange Commission’s (“SEC”) recent $1 million settlement with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC (“MSSB”) marked a turning point in the agency’s focus on cybersecurity issues, an area that the agency has...more

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