News & Analysis as of

VA Switches: FINRA Disciplinary Action Reminds Firms About the Need for Adequate Supervisory Procedures

In a case involving unsuitable variable annuity (VA) transactions, FINRA found that having good procedures and discovering improper conduct are not enough. A member firm must also ensure that it has adequate supervisory...more

U.S. Brokers Doing Business Overseas

Recently, regulators have made inquiries about the lawfulness of U.S. brokerage firms soliciting foreign clients. The regulators want to know under what exemptions or rules U.S. firms can do business overseas. This is a new...more

FINRA Targets Brokers’ Routing Of Orders

On July 8, FINRA released a targeted examination letter it sent to 10 firms to assess their compliance with requirements related to order routing and execution quality of customer orders in exchange listed stocks during the...more

FINRA Announces and Publishes Its Sweep of Order Routing Practices

FINRA announced this week that it is conducting a review of its member firms’ order-routing processes and procedures and the execution quality of customer orders in exchange-listed stocks. We previously reported in this...more

FINRA Sanctions a Broker for Violating Japanese Insider Trading Law

On July 2, 2014, FINRA announced that it barred a former equity trader from the securities industry based on its finding that he violated Japanese insider trading law by trading in the securities of a Japanese company listed...more

FINRA Fines Broker-Dealer for Failing to Apply Class A Sales Charge Waivers for Certain Eligible Customers on its Mutual Fund...

On June 16, 2014, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) accepted a Letter of Acceptance, Waiver and Consent (the “AWC”) from Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith Incorporated (the “Firm”) regarding an...more

Banking & Finance Litigation Update - Issue 77 (Global)

In This Issue: - Domestic Banking - Domestic General - European Banking - European General - International Banking - International General - Excerpt from International General: 55....more

What A Broker Needs To Know About Suitability Under FINRA Rule 2111

The Financial Industry Regulation Authority (“FINRA”) updated the suitability requirements for brokers in July 2012. FINRA’s goal was to codify principles found in case law and expand language to account for a wide range of...more

Compliance Matters: Prior Disclosure = Future Exposure?

Broker and broker-dealer information is generally a few keystrokes or mouse-clicks away for anyone with an Internet connection, and regulators are working to shorten those paths. The information available is just as expansive...more

Is A Licensed Securities Dealer A “Professional” Under Alabama Law Prohibiting Enforcement Of Nonsolicitation Agreements Against...

The Alabama Court of Civil Appeals released a slip opinion on May 16, 2014 addressing enforcement of a nonsolicitation agreement against a licensed securities broker. See G.L.S. & Associates, Inc., and G.L. Smith &...more

FINRA Proposes Rule 2081 to Prohibit “Bargained-For” Expungements

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) filed a proposed rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission to adopt FINRA Rule 2081 that would prohibit broker dealers and associated persons from...more

Closed End Funds

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) has, in recent months, increased its regulatory focus on investor awareness regarding closed-end funds (“CEFs”). In October of last year, FINRA issued an Investor Alert...more

FAQ's on FINRA's Broker Compensation Proposal

On March 10, 2014, FINRA filed proposed Rule 2243 with the SEC. The proposed rule would require firms and registered reps to disclose certain financial incentives offered to reps in connection with a change in employment and...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review - March 24, 2014

FINRA Proposes Lighter Regulatory Regime For Limited Corporate Financing Brokers - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently issued a Regulatory Notice requesting comment on a Proposed Rule Set for...more

FINRA’s Proposed Limited Broker Regime Falls Short of Private Fund Needs

FINRA proposes a new “lite” registration regime for private placements and M&A activity. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) recently issued Regulatory Notice regarding proposed rules (Proposed...more

FINRA Proposes Lighter Regulatory Regime for Limited Corporate Financing Brokers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (“FINRA”) recently issued a Regulatory Notice (the “Notice”) requesting comment on a Proposed Rule Set for “Limited Corporate Financing Brokers” (“LCFBs”). (The comment period...more

FINRA Issues Proposed Rule Set for Limited Corporate Financing Brokers

FINRA issued for comment a Proposed Rule Set for Limited Corporate Financing Brokers (LCFBs). The proposed rule set would provide a lighter regulatory regime for LCFBs, defined as any broker that solely engages in one or more...more

FINRA Proposes Separate Rules for Firms Whose Activities Are Limited to Advice on Capital Raising and Restructuring and...

In Regulatory Notice 14-09, FINRA requested public comment on a proposal to adopt a narrower set of rules (the “Proposed LCFB Rules”) for member firms that meet the definition of “limited corporate financing broker” (each, an...more

FINRA Requests Comment on Proposed Rule Set for Limited Corporate Financing Brokers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has requested comments on a proposed rule set for limited corporate financing brokers (LCFBs). LCFBs are firms that engage in certain limited activities, such as advising companies...more

SEC Issues Ground-Breaking Guidance: Pierce Atwood Business Counselor Q1 2014

Historically, subject to only very limited and narrow exceptions, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and many state securities regulators, have taken the position that brokers, finders and other intermediaries could not...more

Orrick's Financial Industry Week in Review for March 10, 2014

Final Guidance for Medium-Sized Firms on Dodd-Frank Stress Tests - On March 5, the Fed, the FDIC, and the OCC issued final guidance which describes supervisory expectations for stress tests to be conducted by financial...more

FINRA Proposes Significant Changes To Regulatory Regime For Limited Corporate Financing Brokers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has issued Regulatory Notice 14-09 soliciting comments on a proposed new regulatory structure for firms that limit their activities to advising companies and private equity funds...more

Limited Corporate Financing Brokers

FINRA published Regulatory Notice 14-09 to solicit comments regarding a series of new rules that would be applicable to firms that perform certain limited functions. FINRA is proposing to establish a new, reduced regulatory...more

SEC Prevails in Ninth Circuit

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals denied a petition for review of an SEC Order upholding fines and sanctions against the firm and three of its employees. The underlying charges were based on alleged violations of Securities...more

SEC Intensifies Scrutiny of Fee-Based Accounts and Reverse Churning

The SEC is crunching a lot of data these days, and it apparently intends to use some of that data to identify “reverse churning.” Reverse churning is the practice of placing a client who trades infrequently in a fee-based,...more

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