News - Compliance and Regulatory Alerts

FINRA Is Scrutinizing UTMA/UGMA Accounts

Bates News, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts, Industry News  |  04-11-19

FINRA Is Scrutinizing UTMA/UGMA Accounts

In June 2018, Bates Group published an article reporting on deficiencies identified by FINRA in its exam findings which may trigger further scrutiny. In that article we noted FINRA’s focus on the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA), among other exam topics. That scrutiny has now arrived in the form of FINRA inquiries/investigations into how accounts for UTMA and Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) accounts are handled at financial services firms.

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Alert: FINRA Releases FAQs with Important Information About Its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative

Bates News, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  03-08-19

Alert: FINRA Releases FAQs with Important Information About Its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative

FINRA’s 529 Share Class Initiative self-reporting deadlines have been pushed back one month to allow firms additional time to review their supervisory systems, procedures and past transactions to identify sales of 529 plan share classes. The extension also allows firms more time to consider additional information made available by FINRA (FAQs) and to determine whether to self-report.

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Four Challenges Facing Firms Ahead of FINRA’s 529 Share Class Initiative April 1st Deadline

Bates News, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  02-27-19

Four Challenges Facing Firms Ahead of FINRA’s 529 Share Class Initiative April 1st Deadline

Firms participating in FINRA’s 529 Plan Share Class Initiative should act now to meet the regulator’s approaching April 1st deadline to self-report violations and submit a plan to remediate harmed clients. Bates looks at four distinct challenges facing firms as they prepare their response.

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Planning Your Response to FINRA’s 529 Initiative — Q&A with Bates Managing Director Alex Russell

Bates News, Bates Research, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  02-25-19

Planning Your Response to FINRA’s 529 Initiative — Q&A with Bates Managing Director Alex Russell

Bates Research recently conducted a Q & A session with Alex Russell, Managing Director of Securities Litigation & Regulatory Enforcement at Bates, to discuss FINRA's new 529 Share Class Initiative. Alex talks about responding by FINRA's deadline and potential pitfalls firms should avoid when preparing their response.

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Bates Group’s FINRA 529 Share Class Initiative Support for Firms

Bates News, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  02-15-19

Bates Group’s FINRA 529 Share Class Initiative Support for Firms

Last week, Bates sent a time-sensitive Alert concerning FINRA’s new Share Class Initiative -- similar to the SEC’s Share Class Initiative, except that FINRA’s focus is on 529 savings plans.

Bates has deep and proven experience and expertise in share class disclosure matters. To support firms facing FINRA’s 529 Plan disclosure and remediation initiative, Bates has created a plan that provides essential end-to-end steps and solutions to identify and address accounts and clients impacted by share class selection.

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The State of Play on Cryptocurrency Regulation

Bates News, Bates Research, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  02-13-19

The State of Play on Cryptocurrency Regulation

For legislators and regulators, writing rules for crypto-related assets requires balancing the tension between innovation and entrepreneurship, and between sound markets and investor protection. Bates Research has previously described some of the definitional challenges which directly affect which agencies govern crypto assets. In this article, we review recent developments in the ongoing debate over regulating crypto, including legislative proposals, and regulatory activity by leadership at the SEC, the CFTC and FINRA.

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FINRA Rolls Out Its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative - Is Your Firm Ready to Address It?

Bates News, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  02-01-19

FINRA Rolls Out Its 529 Plan Share Class Initiative - Is Your Firm Ready to Address It?

On the heels of the SEC’s 12b-1 Share Class Initiative, FINRA just announced its own Share Class Initiative. FINRA’s Share Class Initiative sets a deadline of April 1, 2019 for firms to self-report 529 savings plan share class violations and to provide FINRA with a plan to remediate harmed clients.

Bates Group has deep and proven experience and expertise in share class disclosure matters. To support firms facing FINRA’s 529 Plan disclosure and remediation initiative, we have created a plan that provides essential end-to-end steps and solutions to identify and address accounts and clients impacted by share class selection.

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BCS Alert: FINRA’s Susan Schroeder Previews 2019 Enforcement Priorities

Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  11-30-18

BCS Alert: FINRA’s Susan Schroeder Previews 2019 Enforcement Priorities

At the November 2018 SIFMA C&L New York Regional Seminar, Susan Schroeder, FINRA’s Executive Vice President and Head of Enforcement, discussed some of FINRA’s enforcement priorities heading into 2019. You can expect these to be included when the official list comes out in January. Read the full alert to preview FINRA's 2019 priorities.

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Risk Alert: OCIE to Conduct Exams on Mutual Funds and ETFs, Review Oversight of Boards of Directors

Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  11-14-18

Risk Alert: OCIE to Conduct Exams on Mutual Funds and ETFs, Review Oversight of Boards of Directors

Staff members at the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations ("OCIE") issued a Risk Alert November 8th informing market participants that they will be conducting a series of examination initiatives on regulatory compliance of mutual funds and exchange-traded funds. The OCIE listed and described the categories of funds and advisers for examination and highlighted certain areas for review.

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Alert: OCIE Recommends IAs Review Compliance Procedures on Cash-Based 3rd-Party Client Solicitation

Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  11-02-18

Alert: OCIE Recommends IAs Review Compliance Procedures on Cash-Based 3rd-Party Client Solicitation

On October 31st, the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued a Risk Alert informing investment advisers, investors and other market participants of the most common compliance deficiencies related to the so-called Cash Solicitation Rule (Investment Advisers Act, Rule 206(4)-3).

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