Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

News & Analysis as of

This Week In Securities Litigation

Merrill Lynch was at the center of actions brought by the SEC and FINRA this week. One action charged the firm with violations of the customer protection rule tied to using customer cash and failing to protect their...more

Equity For The Crowd

On May 16, 2016 the long awaited Crowdfunding rules became final. In some 680 pages of regulations, not to mention the length of the text of the enabling law, Congress and securities regulators have sought to balance the...more

SEC acts against Private Equity Firm for Acting as an Unregistered Broker

On June 1, 2016, the SEC issued a press release that announced a Maryland-based private equity fund advisory firm and its owner have agreed to pay more than $3.1 million to settle charges that they engaged in brokerage...more

FINRA Sanctions Investment Firm Following Unsuitable Sales of Nontraditional ETFs

On June 7, 2016, FINRA settled proceedings against a New York-based investment firm for alleged violations of its suitability and related rules, namely NASD Rule 2310 and FINRA Rules 2111 and 2010. According to FINRA,...more

Your daily dose of financial news - The Brief – 6.14.16

The big story of week so far came just a few minutes after the Brief went to [digital] print yesterday, so apologies for the second hand news: Microsoft has agreed to acquire LinkedIn for a staggering $26.2 billion in a move...more

The Financial Report - Volume 5, No. 11 • June 2016 (Global)

Discussion and Analysis - A few years ago, David Blass, then Chief Counsel of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets, created a stir when he said in a speech that private fund advisers should be concerned about some...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The elements of an insider trading claim continued to be a key focus this week. The first circuit, following prior circuit precedent, held that a personal benefit based on a long term friendship and a steak dinner was...more

Déjà Vu All Over Again – FINRA Takes Another Look at Mutual Fund Sales Charge Waivers

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is once again taking a close look at member firm mutual fund sales practices and sales charge waivers (Mutual Fund Waiver Sweep) in the U.S. FINRA’s target exam letter seeks...more

Financial Services Weekly News - June 2016 #2

Regulatory Developments - CFPB Proposed Rule to Limit Payday Lending and Other High Cost Loans - On June 2, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) proposed a rule designed to limit payday loans, auto title...more

Chameleon SROs: The Gov’t, But Not Really

For years, self-regulatory agencies (like FINRA or the Exchanges) have wielded the statutory authority granted them by Congress – and backed by the SEC – exercising governmental power to compel testimony, impose fines and...more

Massachusetts Securities Division Searches for Rogue Brokers

According to news reports, the Massachusetts Securities Division (the “Division”) recently sent a “sweep letter” to firms asking broker-dealers to report information about their hiring policies and procedures. The Division,...more

FINRA Proposes Initial Round of Amendments to Communications Rules

In May 2016, FINRA filed with the SEC proposed revisions to its communications rules that include a few substantive revisions to existing rules, ease some burdensome filing requirements, and leave the door open for future...more

“Call to Action” May Create Fiduciary Liability under ERISA

Traditional investment advisers, as well as broker-dealers, insurance brokers, banks, and employers, are abuzz with questions and concerns relating to the final regulation issued by the Department of Labor (DOL) on April 8,...more

Your daily dose of financial news The Brief – 6.6.16

Some thoughts about why the relatively dismal May employment numbers (just 38k jobs added) isn’t really as bad as it would seem on first glance...more

This Week In Securities Litigation

The Second Circuit rejected a challenge to the SEC’s venue selection decisions, concluding that the district court did not have jurisdiction to hear an issue regarding the Appointments Clause. This is the third circuit court...more

Structured Thoughts: News for the financial services community, Volume 7, Issue 6

Structured Notes Offered on an Agency Basis - In our last issue, we discussed the potential impact of the Department of Labor’s new rules on sales of structured products. In that article, we discussed some of the...more

TN Securities Division Urges Investors to Question Advisors

In a recent new release, the Tennessee Securities Division urged investors to ask tough questions of their investment advisors, and about their compensation, account arrangements and educational / regulatory history. The May...more

Securities Industry Employment Arbitration

In the securities industry, the majority of all employment disputes are resolved through binding arbitration. This mandatory arbitration system is managed through a unique industry forum under the self-regulatory entity...more

FINRA Proposes Revisions to Fixed-Income Research Rule - Clarifications regarding institutional third-party research,...

On May 24, 2016, FINRA filed with the SEC proposed revisions to FINRA’s new fixed-income research rule that if adopted will provide clarifying guidance regarding institutional third-party research, as well as relief in other...more

FINRA Proposes Amendments to its New Debt Research Rule

On May 24, 2016, FINRA proposed amendments to its new debt research rule (Rule 2422). The amendments are intended to clarify Rule 2422 in four respects: (1) the consent requirement for institutional debt research reports...more

“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

This Week In Securities Litigation

In a holiday shortened week the Commission brought actions centered on: a transfer agent and one of its owners who conducted a fraudulent offering for another company and then sold unregistered shares into the market; a...more

Recent Investment Management Developments - May 2016

Below is a summary of recent investment management developments that affect registered investment companies, private equity funds, hedge funds, investment advisers, and others in the investment management...more

Up Close and Personal: Individual CCO Liability – Part II

Yesterday I began an exploration of the potential individual liability of a Chief Compliance Officer (CCO) based upon the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) enforcement action against Raymond James Inc. and its...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

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