News - Bates Research

FINRA Rolls Out Proposal for High Risk Brokers, Addresses Examination Enhancements

Bates Research  |  05-24-18

FINRA Rolls Out Proposal for High Risk Brokers, Addresses Examination Enhancements

FINRA issued a series of significant proposals over the past few weeks that would 1) reinforce certain firm supervisory obligations concerning associated persons with a history of past misconduct, 2) impose new restrictions on member firms that hire or employ high-risk brokers and 3) revise quantitative suitability standards. These proposals have significant implications going forward. Comments are due at the end of June. These and other issues were discussed at FINRA’s 2018 Annual Conference this week in Washington, D.C.

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Inching Toward A Common Approach to Cryptocurrency Regulation?

Bates Research  |  05-10-18

Inching Toward A Common Approach to Cryptocurrency Regulation?

Movement toward a common approach by U.S. regulators on digital currency may be slow (sometimes imperceptible), but new developments are keeping up the momentum. Treasury, CFTC and SEC regulators are speaking about the need to coordinate, courts are recognizing authorities and state attorneys are exerting pressure. Bates Research looks at some new developments.

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SEC “Best Interest” Rule Reaction, DOL Rule At Its End

Bates Research  |  05-03-18

SEC “Best Interest” Rule Reaction, DOL Rule At Its End

It’s been two weeks since the SEC Best Interest Rule was unveiled, and the three-part proposal is drawing praise, criticism and much scrutiny. As expected, political and industry reaction is coming in from many quarters. Meanwhile, the fate of the DOL fiduciary rule has been decided by the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals which denied several motions for reconsideration of their decision to vacate the rule. As expected, none of this has slowed states’ actions, as they keep promulgating suitability, fiduciary duty and disclosure standards. Bates has a recap of the latest activity.

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Regulators Offer More Guidance as AML Rules Near Effective Date

Bates Research  |  04-26-18

Regulators Offer More Guidance as AML Rules Near Effective Date

Away from the headlines, federal and state regulators continue to prepare financial institutions for their new anti-money laundering compliance obligations. In the past few weeks, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) and FINRA provided additional guidance to covered institutions on how to comply with rules that are set to go into effect next month. In New York, the certification provisions of the Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) BSA/AML rules went into effect. Bates research has the highlights.

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Government Response (and Tension) in the Continuing Cyber War on Data

Bates Research  |  04-12-18

Government Response (and Tension) in the Continuing Cyber War on Data

Congress has become increasingly sensitive to high-profile data breaches. Two new Congressional bills have been proposed to establish general standards for data protection and also address a number of concerns regarding the security of consumers’ credit reports, inspired by the Equifax breach. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said his office is in the midst of investigations into Equifax and has joined the Massachusetts Attorney General in an investigation into Cambridge Analytica. 

Meanwhile, Congressional leaders have called for “a national solution to create data security safeguards and responsible notification processes,” although some State Attorneys General made clear that this may be an incomplete solution.

This is the second in a two-part series looking at the current state of cyber protections in light of recent hacks, data breaches, and cyberwarfare.

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Ongoing Cyberthreats Targeting Your Data

Bates Research  |  04-05-18

Ongoing Cyberthreats Targeting Your Data

Attacks on private personal and financial information have not decreased since Bates Research last reported on the headline-grabbing data breaches of Uber and Equifax, and the governmental data breach of the SEC’s EDGAR filing system. In the wake of three new dramatic data breaches, cyberthreats seem far from contained. 

This is the first in a two-part series looking at the current state of cyber protections in light of recent hacks, data breaches, and cyberwarfare.

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FINRA Tackles Arbitration Procedure Issues

Bates Research  |  03-08-18

FINRA Tackles Arbitration Procedure Issues

FINRA is stepping up its efforts to address a number of longstanding procedural issues in its arbitration forum. With proposals to (i) increase the likelihood of recovery on unpaid arbitration awards, (ii) tighten the process to expunge customer dispute information, (iii) eliminate fees for explaining certain arbitration decisions and (iv) change procedures for arbitrating small claims, regulators are attempting to both protect investors and strengthen the securities arbitration forum. Bates Research has a top-line brief on the headlines.

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MSRB Mark-Up Disclosure Rules: The Clock is Ticking

Bates Research  |  03-01-18

MSRB Mark-Up Disclosure Rules: The Clock is Ticking

In a little more than ten weeks, new rules go into effect that require municipal securities dealers to disclose the mark-ups and mark-downs they charge when selling municipal bonds to retail investors. Despite a significant notice and comment period, the provision of a year and a half of lead time, and considerable substantive guidance, bond traders are said to be scrambling to meet the May 14th implementation date. They may yet get some relief. We take a closer look at where things stand.

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Fintech Firms Race to Innovate, States and Regulators Voice Concerns

Bates Research  |  02-21-18

Fintech Firms Race to Innovate, States and Regulators Voice Concerns

Tech firms are scrambling to gain a piece of the 8.5 trillion-dollar financial industry market, and financial institutions are racing to partner with tech firms to create competitive advantage. Regulators and legislators, mindful of protecting investors and ensuring the integrity of the financial markets, are simultaneously promoting fintech business innovation, issuing enforcement warnings, entering into regulatory collaborations, and looking to regtech to help them adjust to the shifting paradigm. Highlights of federal and state activity over the past few weeks demonstrate this dynamic and their concerns. Bates Research dives into the details.

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Tough Choices for Regulators: OCIE Sets 2018 Exam Priorities

Bates Research  |  02-14-18

Tough Choices for Regulators: OCIE Sets 2018 Exam Priorities

In the sixth annual publication of examination priorities, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) identified four “pillars” of their mission to protect investors and ensure the integrity of the U.S. capital markets. The 2018 OCIE priorities are consistent with these pillars and do not reflect a significant new direction for OCIE. Beyond the specific highlights, however, there is a clear concern about limited regulatory resources and a corresponding enthusiasm for the use of data, technology and analytics. Bates Research has the details.

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