Broker-Dealer

News & Analysis as of

Bridging the Week - February 2016 #2

Two Broker-Dealers to Pay US $154 Million to the State of NY and the SEC to Resolve Allegations of Wrongdoing by Their Dark Pools: Barclays Capital Inc. and Credit Suisse Securities settled allegations by the Securities and...more

No-Action Relief Allows Broker-Dealers and OTC Derivatives Dealers to Submit Certain Reports Electronically

On December 21, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets granted no-action relief that will allow broker-dealers and over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives dealers to submit their annual and...more

House to (Again) Consider Bill to Exempt M&A Brokers from Exchange Act Registration

A bill that would provide a federal statutory exemption from the broker-dealer registration requirements under Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act for certain so called “M&A brokers” has been placed on the calendar for...more

DOL Sends Fiduciary Rule to OMB for Review

DOL has indicated that the final rule will be released in the first half of the year. The US Department of Labor (DOL) sent its final Conflict of Interest Rule—Investment Advice (with related exemptions and amendments to...more

Pay-to-Play: FINRA Requests SEC Approval of Proposal to Regulate Political Contributions

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) recently published for comments rules proposed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) and the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) to regulate...more

Tips for commodity brokers and traders facing auto-renewal provisions in vendor agreements

Businesses of all kinds, and all sizes, enter into vendor agreements in the ordinary course of business. And like many third-party vendors, the types of vendors that cater specifically to the technology needs of commodity...more

"Bulk Transfers of Accounts in Broker-Dealer M&A: Regulatory Developments"

The volume of acquisitions involving broker-dealer firms continues to increase as the industry experiences further consolidation and realignment. In 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) proposed a rule...more

OCIE Publishes Exam Priorities for 2016

The National Exam Program of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its examination priorities for 2016 this week. Much like last year’s letter, this year’s letter is organized around...more

FINRA and OCIE: Examining Private Placements

Readers of this blog are familiar with the recent regulatory changes that have created new possibilities for non-registered capital raises in the U.S.: general solicitations in Regulation D offerings, Regulation A+,...more

Should an Annuity Be Part of Your Retirement Planning?

Annuities can be valuable retirement and longevity planning tools, but they are complex financial products that can be misused. There are two kinds of annuities: variable and immediate. Variable annuities have gotten a bad...more

Cybersecurity Tops SEC Office of Compliance Inspections 2016 Examination Priorities

The 2016 lists are starting to be released by regulatory agencies in the United States, giving a heads’ up to covered entities as to what compliance issues will take front and center this year. Once again, the Office of...more

SEC Announces 2016 Examination Priorities

Earlier this week, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced its 2016 examination priorities. These priorities are of particular...more

Research Note: Equity Market Volatility on August 24, 2015

On December 29, 2015, the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Analytics and Research Division of Trading and Markets published a research note (Research Note) on the unusual price volatility that the...more

Revised Pay-to-Play Rules

The Securities and Exchange Commission is seeking comments on a revised proposal recently filed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority to establish “pay-to-play” and related rules regulating the activities of FINRA...more

FINRA Releases Proposed Rule to Reduce the Regulatory Burdens on Boutique Investment Banks

FINRA has filed with the SEC a proposed rule which would reduce the regulatory burden for broker-dealers that limit their activities to M&A and certain corporate financing transactions. The proposed rule would create a new...more

CFTC rule change brings record-keeping relief for commodity dealers and end-users

Aiming to reduce needless regulatory costs on America’s farmers, grain elevators and other commercial end-users of the commodity markets, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) recently amended a record-keeping...more

"FINRA Submits Pay-to-Play Rule 2030 to SEC for Approval"

On December 16, 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) submitted Rules 2030 and 4580 (the Draft Rules) to the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for approval. The Draft Rules set forth pay-to-play...more

FINRA’s Securities Helpline for Seniors™ Provides Guidance to Broker-Dealers

In April 2015, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) launched its Securities Helpline for Seniors™ (the “Helpline”). The Helpline seeks to enhance investor protection by serving as a resource to seniors making...more

"MSRB Submits Pay-to-Play Rule G-37 Amendments to SEC for Approval"

On December 16, 2015, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) filed its draft amendments to Rule G-37 on political contributions (the Draft Rule) with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). The Draft Rule...more

The Year in Review: 2015 FINRA Enforcement Actions

Over the past several years, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”), the self-regulatory organization responsible for regulating every brokerage firm and broker doing business with the U.S. public, brought...more

FINRA Targets Stockbroker’s Impermissible Transfer of Client Account Information

FINRA recently settled an action against a registered representative of a broker-dealer for alleged violations regarding the safeguarding and use of private consumer data. The broker accepted and consented to the settlement...more

Hailing a CAB – Does FINRA’s Proposed Capital Acquisition Broker Rule Set Get Private Fund Sponsors to Their Desired Destination?

For many years, the private fund industry and the securities bar have called for a limited rule set to govern broker-dealers solely engaged in raising capital for private funds or other issuers of unregistered securities or...more

SEC Proposes Significant Regulatory Changes for Alternative Trading Systems

On November 18, 2015, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) proposed significant changes to the regulatory requirements applicable to dark pools and other alternative trading systems (“ATSs”) that...more

Executives in Crosshairs for Corporate Violations

A new U.S. Department of Justice policy expands expectations for corporate cooperation in white collar investigations in ways that have profound implications for SEC-regulated entities such as broker dealers, investment...more

Annual Compliance Testing Should Re-Calibrate WSPs

As 2015 ended, FINRA fined Barclays Capital $13.75 million for mutual-fund switching and breakpoint supervisory failures that might have been avoided if that part of Barclay’s WSPs had been properly calibrated and/or part of...more

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