Broker-Dealer

News & Analysis as of

SEC Settles with Broker-Dealer over Market Access Allegations

On November 20, the SEC announced that a California based broker dealer agreed to settle alleged market access violations by paying a $2.44 million penalty. The SEC alleged that the broker-dealer failed to implement adequate...more

Bridging the Week - November 2014 #4

Broker-Dealer and Two Senior Officers Fined US $2.5 Million for Market Access Violations - Wedbush Securities Inc. and two senior officers resolved an enforcement action previously filed against them during June 2014...more

Firms Have Roadmap for Expanding Litigation of Customer Disputes After Second Circuit Holds Forum Selection Clauses Trump FINRA’s...

In the recent decision, Goldman Sachs & Co. v. Golden Empire Sch. Fin. Auth., 764 F.3d 210 (2d Cir. 2014), the Second Circuit held that nearly-identical forum selection clauses in broker-dealer agreements between the...more

The Regulators Are Coming! The Regulators Are Coming!

Regulators, in-house lawyers and compliance officers told a serious cautionary tale at the recent Practicing Law Institute Broker-Dealer Regulation and Enforcement seminar. Representatives of the Securities and Exchange...more

SEC Scrutiny of Crowdinvesting Sites Not Registered as Broker-Dealers

On November 10, 2014, the SEC announced a settlement with Eureeca Capital SPC, which is a crowdinvesting portal incorporated in the Cayman Islands. Eureeca’s website seeks to match foreign-based issuers with investors...more

Financial Regulatory Developments Focus - November 2014 #2

In this issue: - Bank Prudential Regulation & Regulatory Capital - Compensation - Consumer Protection - Derivatives - Enforcement - Financial Services - Funds -...more

SEC Obtains Over $4 Billion for Securities Violations in 2014

Following the end of its fiscal year on September 30, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) reported that FY 2014 was notable not only for the record number of enforcement actions filed, but for the wide range of...more

SEC Finds Crowdfunding Website a General Solicitation and Violated Broker-Dealer Rules

In a settled enforcement action, the SEC alleged the defendant failed to implement procedures reasonably designed to prevent U.S. persons from accessing and investing in securities through its crowdfunding website. The...more

FinCEN Continues Scrutiny of Virtual Currency Companies

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network recently issued two administrative rulings holding that certain virtual currency trading platforms and payment systems were subject to registration as money services businesses....more

"MSRB Releases Draft Amendments to Rule G-20 on Gifts, Gratuities and Noncash Compensation, Requests Comments"

On October 23, 2014, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) released Notice 2014-18 (the Notice), containing draft amendments to Rule G-20, with conforming changes to MSRB Rules G-8 and G-9 (required records and...more

CFTC Clarifies Dealer Requirement to Notify Customers of Right to Segregation of Initial Margin for Uncleared Swaps

On October 31, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (Division) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued a staff interpretation regarding the notification of the right to segregation of...more

Insurance Brokers to be the gatekeepers for unauthorised foreign insurers in North Queensland

The announcement last week of the establishment of an aggregator website for North Queensland strata, home building and home contents insurance coupled with a proposal to allow unauthorised foreign insurers (UFI) into the...more

Second Circuit Affirms Orders Enjoining Arbitration, Holding Broad Forum Selection Clause Supersedes FINRA Arbitration Rule

The Second Circuit affirmed two cases in which financial services firms had succeeded in enjoining FINRA arbitrations that were initiated against them by public financing entities. The court held that in each case, the FINRA...more

SEC Sanctions Auditor, Should Make Small Issuers Think Twice

The SEC brought a settled administrative action against an auditor on October 24th. Often I’ll take a case like this and write something about it to warn other auditors (or investment advisers or broker-dealers, or whomever)...more

Former Adjunct Business School Professor, His Firm, the Placement Broker and Its Managing Partner Named in SEC Offering Fraud...

The Commission instituted administrative proceedings centered on an offering fraud orchestrated by a former adjunct Professor at Columbia Business School who taught, and previously specialized in, turning around troubled...more

Bridging the Week - October 2014 #4

Senior Fed Officials Encourage Financial Industry Firms to Improve Compliance Culture - Enhancing culture was the theme at a workshop on “Reforming Culture and Behavior in the Financial Services Industry” held at the...more

Broker-Dealers Ignoring Red Flags Lead to SEC Releases and Enforcement Action

In October 2014, the SEC’s Division of Trading & Markets issued FAQs to remind broker-dealers of their obligation to conduct a reasonable inquiry when selling securities in an unregistered transaction in reliance on Section...more

Broker-Dealer Beat - October 2014: Supervising Registered Employees of Foreign Affiliates

Supervising Registered Employees of Foreign Affiliates - NASD Rules 1021(a) and 1031(a) permit a FINRA member to register or maintain the registration as principal or representative of an individual who is engaged in...more

What Does It Take to Make the SEC Happy? SEC Criticism of Broker-Dealers’ Due Diligence for Sales of Unregistered Securities...

To ensure that broker-dealers (BDs) do not inadvertently facilitate an unlawful distribution of securities, the Securities and Exchange Commission has long required BDs to conduct a “reasonable inquiry” into the circumstances...more

SEC Issues Risk Alert, Smacks E*Trade on Penny Stock Sales

On October 9th the SEC brought a settled administrative action against E*Trade Securities and G1 Execution Services (formerly E*Trade Capital Markets) for their part in the unregistered sales of billions of shares of penny...more

SEC Staff Finds that Broker-Dealers Still Are Not Conducting Adequate Section 5 Reviews

The staff of the SEC recently addressed broker-dealers’ obligations when engaging in transactions in unregistered securities by issuing FAQs and a Risk Alert that reported the results of examinations of a number of...more

Takeaways From Broker-Dealers’ Section 5 Inadequacies

The staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission recently addressed broker-dealers’ obligations when they engage in transactions in unregistered securities by issuing FAQs and a risk alert that reported the results of...more

Financial Services Weekly News Roundup - October 2014 #3

Editor’s Note - Looking Ahead: December 1 Effective Date for FINRA Consolidated Supervision Rules. The new FINRA Supervision rules, approved by the SEC in December 2013, become effective on December 1, 2014. The new...more

Referral Fees and Commission Sharing - When May Broker-Dealers Share Their Fees with Non-Brokers?

FINRA recently filed proposed rule changes with the SEC addressing when broker-dealers may pay referral fees or otherwise share compensation with persons who are not registered as broker-dealers. The proposed rule changes are...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Commission prevailed in three litigated decisions. The agency secured a favorable jury verdict in an action centered on an offering fraud. In two other cases — one based on misrepresentations regarding the only company...more

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