News - Bates Research

FINRA, Treasury and Legislators Push AML Back to the Forefront

Bates News, Bates Research  |  12-13-17

FINRA, Treasury and Legislators Push AML Back to the Forefront

Legislators and regulators continue their uneven path toward a more comprehensive and inclusive framework to combat international money laundering. In the past few weeks, FINRA provided new anti-money laundering (AML) guidance to member firms as it issued a first-of-its-kind public summary of an examination of broker-dealer compliance programs. The U.S. Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence (TFI) announced the launch of a new FinCEN Exchange to support the TFI's approach to Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) requirements. In addition, regulatory and legislative initiatives moved forward to broaden the scope of authority for law enforcement agencies.

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Did BitCoin Just Go Mainstream? The Challenge for U.S. Regulators is Getting Real

Bates News, Bates Research, Industry News  |  12-06-17

Did BitCoin Just Go Mainstream? The Challenge for U.S. Regulators is Getting Real

Only a few weeks ago, SEC Chair Jay Clayton made clear that trading in virtual currencies can present a significant risk to investors and poses unique regulatory challenges. He warned that investors are vulnerable to price manipulation and fraud because they may lack information about online platforms that list and trade virtual coins or tokens offered and sold in initial coin offerings (“ICOs”). He pledged to provide more clarity and transparency about the risks, and he promised the SEC would publish guidance for investors on standards, process, value and existing protections

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An Uber Cyber Breach

Bates News, Bates Research  |  11-29-17

An Uber Cyber Breach

Another high-profile cyber breach was disclosed last week. Uber, the app-based transportation service, announced that, in 2016, hackers stole information including names, email addresses, phone numbers and driver’s license data, related to 57 million drivers and riders. This incident is significant, not only to underscore the vulnerabilities of data on the cloud and corporate servers, but also because it highlights the serious consequences of mismanaging what is becoming an all-too-frequent occurrence.

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Seeking Sunlight for Investors,  SEC Chair Addresses Five Areas of Focus

Bates News, Bates Research  |  11-20-17

Seeking Sunlight for Investors,  SEC Chair Addresses Five Areas of Focus

With the latest cyber crises momentarily at bay, SEC Chair Jay Clayton is taking the opportunity to address both short- and long-term agency priorities. In a speech before the Practising Law Institute’s 49th Annual Conference on Securities Regulation, Mr. Clayton continued to set forth the agency’s near-term, narrowly focused retail and institutional regulatory priorities and articulated longer-term elements of a five-year strategic plan.

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President Signs New Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Law as NASAA Rolls out New Guidance

Bates News, Bates Research  |  11-08-17

President Signs New Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Law as NASAA Rolls out New Guidance

Political momentum continues to drive lawmakers’ efforts to combat elder financial abuse. In our last report on the subject, Bates considered the current state of play as indicated by the North American Securities Administrators Association’s (NASAA) survey results on (i) firm practices and policies applicable to senior customers and (ii) state securities regulator perspectives on senior financial fraud. Since then, federal and state legislatures have enacted bipartisan laws to expand agency authority over elder abuse and to better cope with guardianship issues. 

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SEC Enforcement Leadership Sets Priorities

Bates News, Bates Research  |  11-01-17

SEC Enforcement Leadership Sets Priorities

Co-Directors of the SEC Division of Enforcement, Stephanie Avakian and Steven Peikin, addressed enforcement priorities at a Securities Forum held in Washington, D.C. last week. Ms. Avakian’s formal remarks emphasized that the SEC will refocus its enforcement efforts toward the protection of retail investors and on a new integrated approach to cyber-related crime. Mr. Peikin, in widely-reported comments, described a shift in enforcement tactics, while also acknowledging resource constraints. Details after the jump.

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Expert Spotlight: David S. Zweighaft

Bates News, Bates Research, Practice Alerts  |  10-30-17

Expert Spotlight: David S. Zweighaft

David Zweighaft (CPA/CFF, CFE) is a New York-based Fraud Subject Matter Expert with over twenty-five years’ experience serving the legal and financial services communities as both a consultant and expert witness. He is the author of the recent article “Business email compromise and executive impersonation: are financial institutions exposed?”, which appears in Volume 18 Issue 1 of the Journal of Investment Compliance (published by Emerald Publishing Limited in the UK).

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FINRA Update: New Arbitration Proposals, Identifying High Risk Brokers

Bates News, Bates Research  |  10-25-17

FINRA Update: New Arbitration Proposals, Identifying High Risk Brokers

In two notices issued last week, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority addressed a few longstanding issues. First, FINRA proposed expanding the legal options available to investors when filing a claim against an inactive firm or associated person. Second, FINRA requested comments on allowing compensated non-attorney representatives to continue to represent customers in disputes between investors and broker-dealers. Comments on both are due December 18, 2017. In addition, FINRA Executive Vice President of Regulatory Operations Susan Axelrod (at left) offers insight on how FINRA is identifying high risk brokers.

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New CFTC Commissioner Proposes “21st Century” Approach

Bates News, Bates Research  |  10-18-17

New CFTC Commissioner Proposes “21st Century” Approach

At the CFTC a line has been drawn: the regulator will shift away from focusing on “regulating the last crisis” to ensure that they remain relevant in modern markets. Rather than reacting to market innovation, the CFTC sees a role for itself in advancing and promoting innovation. This new viewpoint was prominently discussed in the first public address of Brian Quintenz, newly sworn in as Commissioner of the CFTC. Mr. Quintenz challenged the entire approach undertaken by his predecessors toward regulating the activity of the sector.

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NASAA Issues Annual Securities Enforcement Report and Expands Resources for IAs and BDs

Bates News, Bates Research  |  10-12-17

NASAA Issues Annual Securities Enforcement Report and Expands Resources for IAs and BDs

In his first address to the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA), newly-elected and third-time President Joseph Borg identified key priorities for his upcoming term. He emphasized cooperation between state and federal regulators and highlighted NASAA’s commitment to strengthened enforcement, technology advancement and cybersecurity. 

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