News - Bates Research

States Sue SEC in Latest Challenge to Reg BI

Bates News, Bates Research  |  09-12-19

States Sue SEC in Latest Challenge to Reg BI

The SEC’s adoption of the Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”) package in June was a defining moment in the long-running debate over the standard of care for broker-dealers and investment advisers. It triggered compliance schedules and required registered broker-dealers and advisory firms to develop internal policies and procedures in order to satisfy the new standards. The passage of Reg BI, however, did not quell the ongoing controversies over the appropriateness and adequacy of standards and investor protections. This week, Reg BI suffered another state challenge, this time in the form of a lawsuit filed against the SEC by seven State Attorneys General. Bates Research takes a closer look.

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NASAA Roundup: Crypto Crackdown, Reg BI, New Warnings on Complex Products

Bates News, Bates Research  |  08-15-19

NASAA Roundup: Crypto Crackdown, Reg BI, New Warnings on Complex Products

The past few months have been a particularly busy time for state financial regulators and enforcement officials. At almost every turn, the complicated and overlapping relationship between federal and state officials is being tested. A review of recent activities by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) provides several examples. In this article, Bates recaps recent NASAA developments on cryptocurrency, fraud enforcement, Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI), and supervision of complex financial products (i.e. non-traditional Exchange Traded Funds).

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Variable Annuities Regulatory Update: Will NY’s Reg. 187 Victory Impact SEC, NAIC Proposals?

Bates News, Bates Research  |  08-08-19

Variable Annuities Regulatory Update: Will NY’s Reg. 187 Victory Impact SEC, NAIC Proposals?

Last week, the New York Supreme Court upheld the “Suitability and Best Interest in Life Insurance and Annuity Transactions” regulation (a/k/a Regulation 187) in the face of legal challenges brought by several associations and insurance agent groups. In this article we take a look at what the decision means, recent developments in both the SEC and NAIC efforts to rewrite standards, and we update you on the latest in the legal battle over commission trails for brokers selling variable annuities.

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Cannabis: Federal and State Efforts Picking up Steam

Bates News, Bates Research  |  08-01-19

Cannabis: Federal and State Efforts Picking up Steam

The growing global cannabis market is estimated to reach $66.3 billion by 2025, up from $13.8 billion in 2018. That kind of growth is spurring congressional and state legislators to seek to normalize the market for marijuana-related businesses and speed up the resolution of federal-state legal conflicts. In this article Bates looks at some of the recent federal legislative and state developments on what appears to be real momentum toward a fully functioning and legitimate market.

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FinCEN Updates Advisory on Business Email Fraud: Billions Thought to Have Been Stolen

Bates News, Bates Research  |  07-25-19

FinCEN Updates Advisory on Business Email Fraud: Billions Thought to Have Been Stolen

After analyzing data collected in Suspicious Activity Reports, FinCEN issued an update to a 2016 Advisory alerting financial institutions on how best to combat criminal schemes that compromise business email accounts. The problem of criminals targeting business fund transfers is not small. So-called “Business Email Compromise” scammers possibly stole billions of dollars from companies and individuals in 2018, more than in prior years, according to a new FinCEN Financial Trend Analysis of the SARs data. In this article, Bates considers the informed guidance in FinCEN’s new 2019 Advisory to financial institutions, as well as some of the salient conclusions drawn from the trend analysis report.

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SEC Chair Responds to Seven Criticisms of Regulation Best Interest

Bates News, Bates Research  |  07-18-19

SEC Chair Responds to Seven Criticisms of Regulation Best Interest

On June 25th, the U.S. House of Representatives weighed in and voted for an amendment to a bill with the intent of prohibiting the SEC from “implementing, administering, enforcing, or publicizing” the final rules and interpretations of Reg BI. The amendment is not likely to pass the Senate, and as this week’s formal publication of Reg BI in the Federal Register makes clear, the dates for implementation and compliance are set, even as the debate over the new rule package continues. In this article, we review SEC Chair Clayton’s endorsement of the regulation, and his point-by-point rebuttal of the criticism that it has received since agency adoption.

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AML Legislative Update: Seeking Transparency, House and Senate Propose Beneficial Ownership Database

Bates News, Bates Research  |  06-27-19

AML Legislative Update: Seeking Transparency, House and Senate Propose Beneficial Ownership Database

This month, a bipartisan group of Senate Banking Committee members introduced legislation to address current gaps inhibiting the fight against illicit financing of criminal activity (CFT). This follows the House Financial Services Committee's adoption of an aggressive legislative agenda aimed at modernizing and closing loopholes in the AML/CFT framework. Of key interest to both the Senate and the House is the expansion of the use of “beneficial ownership information” of the type now collected under the Customer Due Diligence rules that went into effect last year. In this article, Bates reviews the developing congressional legislative efforts to detect and deter financial crime.

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Massachusetts Proposes State Fiduciary Rule; Trade Groups Ask New Jersey to Pause its Process

Bates News, Bates Research  |  06-20-19

Massachusetts Proposes State Fiduciary Rule; Trade Groups Ask New Jersey to Pause its Process

The SEC's recent adoption of Reg BI has not stopped the states from pursuing their own higher standards. Last week, Massachusetts became the latest state to propose a uniform fiduciary standard for broker-dealers and advisers when dealing with its residents. A group of trade associations have also expressed concerns regarding New Jersey's proposal to apply uniform fiduciary standards to broker-dealers and investment advisers for recommendations and advice they may give to New Jersey investors. Bates Research takes a closer look at the Massachusetts proposal and the broader federal/state power struggle.

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SEC Adopts Regulation Best Interest: Early Reaction and its Impact

Bates News, Bates Research  |  06-13-19

SEC Adopts Regulation Best Interest: Early Reaction and its Impact

On the day the SEC approved a set of regulatory proposals affecting the obligations that broker-dealers and investment advisers owe retail investors, Commissioner Hester Peirce issued a “plea” to critics to “take a fair look at what it says before you proclaim it a success or failure.” In this article, Bates reviews the core elements of the rules and related guidance, and some of the early reactions.

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Cryptocurrencies Regulatory Update: FinCEN Guidance, SEC and Commissioner Commentary

Bates News, Bates Research  |  06-06-19

Cryptocurrencies Regulatory Update: FinCEN Guidance, SEC and Commissioner Commentary

The state of play in cryptocurrency regulation continues to reflect legitimate tensions between promoting innovation and entrepreneurship and maintaining sound markets and investor protection. In this article, we review recent developments including new guidance and a recent advisory issued by FinCEN, anticipated guidelines from the Financial Action Task Force and the latest developments at the SEC.

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