News

Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  11-23-20

SEC Allows Remote Inspections Through 2021

On November 18, 2020, the SEC made effective FINRA’s proposed temporary rule amendment allowing remote inspections through December 31, 2021. The SEC regulatory action adopts temporary relief (Supplementary Material .17) under FINRA Rule 3110 (Supervision) by providing member firms the option to remotely complete inspection obligations for Calendar Years 2020 and 2021. FINRA stated that the change was a response to the operational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bates Research  |  11-20-20

Tracking FinCEN Moves: Regulator Issues a Flurry of Advisories on Ransomware, Unemployment, Human Trafficking, Rule Amendments and More

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) continues its fast pace, issuing important new advisories, statements and rulemakings. Since September, FinCEN has issued advisories on ransomware, unemployment insurance fraud, and the money laundering aspects of human trafficking, an Order targeting certain residential real estate transactions based on geography, and has proposed specific amendments that affect recordkeeping and travel, as well as broad recommendations affecting Bank Secrecy Act regulations that make up the current anti-money laundering framework. Bates takes a look at the details you need to know.

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Events  |  11-19-20

NYCLA CLE Webinar December 2nd: “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” Virtual FINRA Hearings, Mediations and Developments in the Real World

Join the New York Country Lawyers Association’s Securities & Exchange Committee on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 2 pm, when distinguished CLE panel members share their tried and true insights and guidance on managing FINRA virtual hearings and mediations. Hear about current and future virtual FINRA hearing developments to prepare for 2021.

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Events  |  11-17-20

Upcoming ABA CLE Webinar: Exploitation of Senior and Vulnerable Investors in the COVID-19 Era and Regulatory Responses

ABA CLE Event: Explore the dangers for seniors & vulnerable investors in the COVID19 era, and the response of regulators. Panel includes nationally-recognized senior issues expert witness & Bates director Joe Thomas, Bates senior issues expert Amy Bard, and Richard Szuch of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities Enforcement Division.

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Bates Research  |  11-12-20

SEC and FINRA Offer Observations to Improve Compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS

On October 26, 2020, the SEC and FINRA staff held a remote public roundtable to discuss the implementation of Reg BI and Form CRS since mandatory compliance began on June 30, 2020. During the regulators' roundtable, staff reviewed the core obligations required by Reg. BI and Form CRS and their observations on firms' compliance with the new rules, including areas where firms require improvement.

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Bates Research  |  11-05-20

FINRA Proposes Senior Rule Amendments to Extend Hold Period on Senior Accounts and Permit Holds on Transactions in Securities

Based on feedback from a retrospective rule review initiated in August 2019, FINRA proposed rule amendments intended to strengthen the ability of member firms to address suspected financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable individuals. The proposed amendments would permit a broker-dealer to impose a longer hold period on a senior investor's account and to expand coverage to include holds on transactions in securities. FINRA seeks comments by December 4, 2020. Please read the full article for a closer look.

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Bates Research  |  10-29-20

Bates Expert Interview:  Reflections on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Fixed Income Market

We asked Bates Group experts and consultants with deep experience in fixed income and municipal securities to share some perspective on how the pandemic has impacted investors over the past six months. Here are some of their insights on recent market volatility, Federal Reserve intervention, credit ratings, and the likelihood of potential investor litigation going forward.

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Bates News  |  10-28-20

Bates Compliance-SIFMA Webinar Highlighted by WealthManagement

A recent article from WealthManagement.com highlights comments made at the Bates Compliance-SIFMA webinar on virtual branch office visits, held October 5, 2020. This webinar is available for on-demand viewing from SIFMA.and features Bates Compliance Director Jill Ehret.

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Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  10-26-20

This Week in Reg BI: SEC-FINRA Roundtable and Bates Compliance-Global Relay Webinar “REG BI - 120 Days On”

Today, October 26, 2020, the SEC and FINRA staff will hold a remote public roundtable to discuss their observations on the implementation of Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”) and Customer Relationship Summary disclosure form (“Form CRS”) since mandatory compliance began on June 30, 2020. Following the program, on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT, Bates Compliance will hold its own webinar with Global Relay to discuss “Reg BI - 120 Days On.”

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Bates Research  |  10-22-20

SEC Chair and Director of Enforcement Review the Record

In a likely preview of the SEC Division of Enforcement 2020 Annual Report, SEC Chair Jay Clayton and Division of Enforcement Director Stephanie Avakian gave back-to-back speeches regarding the agency’s enforcement record since they took the reins in 2017. In context, these speeches presented a strong accounting of the impact the Division has had on the financial industry during their tenure. The remarks, delivered last month to the Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, also raised some of the important challenges to the SEC’s enforcement priorities presented by COVID-19. Here are the highlights from their speeches.

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