News - Bates Research

DOL Fiduciary Duty Rule: What Your Firm Should Do Now

Bates Research  |  08-17-17

DOL Fiduciary Duty Rule: What Your Firm Should Do Now

The road to implementation of the Department of Labor’s fiduciary duty rule continues to be bumpy. The latest turn may mark yet another delay of the Rule. Specifically, the requirements of the Rule that took effect on June 9, 2017 may be extended from its original, full compliance date of January 1, 2018 to July 1, 2019. Today we report on the DOL’s recent moves and offer recommendations for financial services firms to consider as they navigate the ongoing regulatory and compliance uncertainty. 

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Financial Regulatory Roundup: New Players Set to Advance New Agenda

Bates Research  |  08-10-17

Financial Regulatory Roundup: New Players Set to Advance New Agenda

At the SEC, CFTC and FINRA, key personnel changes are finally taking place, and with them some repositioning around new agendas. Today we bring you an update on recent developments and appointments to watch.

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FINRA President and CEO Sets Forth Comprehensive Bad Actor Initiative

Bates Research  |  07-27-17

FINRA President and CEO Sets Forth Comprehensive Bad Actor Initiative

This is the second installment in our ongoing look at FINRA’s efforts to address high risk brokers, also referred to by FINRA as “bad actors.”  Our first installment discussed  the set of proposals recently approved by FINRA’s Board of Governors to identify high risk brokers and enhance tools for disciplinary actions, examinations and ongoing surveillance. In a speech before the Georgetown Center for Financial Markets and Policy, Robert Cook, President and CEO of FINRA, set forth FINRA’s comprehensive approach to the self-regulatory agency’s existing and developing programs and practices to protect investors and markets from bad actors.

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Is the End Near For Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Financial Contracts?

Bates Research  |  07-19-17

Is the End Near For Mandatory Arbitration Clauses in Consumer Financial Contracts?

Reactions to the issuance of a final rule by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) prohibiting the use of mandatory arbitration clauses to block consumers of certain financial products and services from filing class action lawsuits have been swift and partisan.

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AML Update: Keeping an Eye on Developments

Bates Research  |  07-12-17

AML Update: Keeping an Eye on Developments

There are many diverse players and moving parts in the evolving anti-money laundering (AML) regulatory landscape. Since we last checked, there have been congressional hearings on the domestic compliance obligations mandated by the Bank Secrecy Act; the introduction of two bipartisan legislative initiatives; and the passing of a final deadline for member states to implement EU AML regulations into their national laws. The activity reflects the ongoing political dynamic of how best to address the scourge of money laundering and terrorist financing.

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2018 House Appropriations Budget Offers Insight into SEC Priorities

Bates Research  |  07-06-17

2018 House Appropriations Budget Offers Insight into SEC Priorities

On June 28th, the U.S. House Appropriations Committee published a proposed $20.2 billion financial services and government budget bill covering, in part, 2018 funding for the Securities and Exchange Commission. A day earlier, in testimony before the House Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, SEC Chair Jay Clayton set forth the independent agency’s 2018 priorities.

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NASAA Publishes Senior Investor Study Findings Focusing on Five Key Areas for Broker-Dealers

Bates Research  |  06-28-17

NASAA Publishes Senior Investor Study Findings Focusing on Five Key Areas for Broker-Dealers

Results published in a recent North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) survey about firms’ practices and policies applicable to senior customers demonstrate that broker-dealers have a variety of processes and procedures in place to identify and report suspected diminished capacity or abuse. “Among the encouraging findings,” reported NASAA, “are that virtually all the broker-dealers had both internal processes to identify and internally report suspected diminished capacity or senior financial abuse, and trained their staff on these policies.” This and other findings were published in a study released on June 15, 2017, the latest effort by NASAA to continue to move the industry forward on the subject of serving seniors in the financial system.

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Cybersecurity Activity and Enforcement Kick Into High Gear Amid Uptick in Cybercrime and Fraud

Bates Research  |  06-14-17

Cybersecurity Activity and Enforcement Kick Into High Gear Amid Uptick in Cybercrime and Fraud

For securities regulators and regulated entities, concern over cybersecurity is taking on a new urgency. Hardly a day goes by without a news item highlighting serious allegations of international hacking, fraud, data theft or some form of attempted electronic manipulation. Faced with the fact that governmental institutions, private enterprises and personal assets seem increasingly vulnerable, authorities appear to be ramping up their engagement. Federal and state officials are issuing new rules, authorities are updating guidance and enforcement agencies are organizing for a fight.

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SEC Initiates New Review of Investor Protections As DOL Fiduciary Rule Goes Into Effect

Bates Research  |  06-07-17

SEC Initiates New Review of Investor Protections As DOL Fiduciary Rule Goes Into Effect

In one of his first official acts as SEC Chair, Jay Clayton served notice that the SEC will assert itself in the long-standing debate on the duties owed by investment advisors and broker-dealers. In a public statement issued only a few days before the implementation of parts of the Department of Labor (“DOL”) Fiduciary Duty Rule, Mr. Clayton staked out the SEC’s claim to broad jurisdiction over the issue. 

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Prospects for Financial Services Reform: Where Things Stand

Bates Research  |  05-31-17

Prospects for Financial Services Reform: Where Things Stand

Only a month ago, Bates reported on House Speaker Paul Ryan’s desire to push for swift legislative action on the Financial CHOICE bill, (now known as H.R.10). It was clear then that the extreme partisanship surrounding House Financial Services Committee Chair Jeb Hensarling’s reform efforts would make passage of comprehensive legislative changes to the Dodd-Frank Act a challenge. The bill itself was reported out of the House Committee on a party-line vote 34-26, with all nineteen amendments proposed by Democrats summarily rejected.

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