News – Bates Research

Coronavirus and the Approaching Business Interruption Insurance Storm

These are uncertain times for insurers. In a report issued on March 31, 2020, Congressional Research Service (“CRS”) staff noted the likelihood that “loss of income from mandatory or voluntary closures, supply chain disruptions, and reduced demand due to social distancing measures may induce businesses of all sizes to seek compensation from insurers.”

That was clearly an understatement. Now, market participants are sounding alarms about a wave of state and federal legislation that would shift onto insurers a significant portion of the burden to compensate businesses from the massive losses resulting from pandemic-related shutdowns. Bates takes a look at these legislative moves, early legal action taken by policyholders seeking coverage for business interruption losses as a consequence of the coronavirus (COVID-19), and the reaction by the insurance industry.  

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Reg BI: SEC Keeps June 30th Deadline, FINRA Seeks to Amend Suitability Rule

Over the past few weeks the coronavirus pandemic has overtaken the nation’s financial agenda and diverted the attention of financial regulators who are struggling to keep up and address urgent market needs. These actions have left some firms curious as to whether the rollout of Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”) may be delayed. Well, the wait is over, and SEC Chair Clayton has weighed in. Meanwhile, FINRA has pushed forward amendments to its rules on suitability and non-cash compensation, and the SEC has filed a brief in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals arguing for rejection of state petitions for review of the Reg BI final rule. There is so much happening and many moving parts. Here’s what you need to know.

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Enforcement Warnings in the Age of the Coronavirus

As regulators struggle to adjust to the stress that the coronavirus pandemic is placing on the markets, fraudsters are viewing it as an opportunity. Bates Research takes a look at the latest enforcement warnings and guidance from financial regulators, who are sounding alarms over the added threats that exist in the current volatile environment.

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Financial Regulatory Guidance, Assistance and Relief Roundup

During the current crisis, the challenge for financial firms and investors is to keep on top of the latest communications from regulators, understand what is actionable and what is not, and ensure that compliance and supervision processes are in place to manage the crisis. Here’s a recap of the latest compliance guidance, regulatory assistance and relief offered by the SEC, FINRA, NFA and MSRB.

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Regulators Are Gaining Traction in the Fight Against Elder Financial Exploitation

Bates Group has been tracking regulatory and enforcement developments on senior financial exploitation. Two recent publications and recent sweeping enforcement actions suggest that the phenomenon is becoming better understood and addressed. FinCEN published a strategic analysis after reviewing SARs filings over a six-year period, and NASAA has issued a statement and legislative update based, in part, on an enforcement analysis showing that the Model Act to Protect Vulnerable Adults is gaining traction. The Department of Justice, FBI and Postal Inspector jointly announced the results of “the largest coordinated sweep of elder fraud cases in history.” Bates Research takes a closer look.

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Facing the Coronavirus: Financial Industry Preparations, Reassurances and Contingencies

If you’ve been in meetings about investor communications, business travel, or other contingency planning over the past few days and weeks, you are not alone. Since the outbreak of the coronavirus (also referred to as COVID-19) and more recently, the precipitous volatility of the financial markets, financial firms have been deluged with questions from just about every stakeholder group about how to respond. Regulators are weighing in as well. Bates looks at some of the efforts to prepare and reassure everyone out there.

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Massachusetts Adopts New Fiduciary Rule; SEC Releases Reg BI FAQs;  NAIC Approves Annuity Regulation

As the June 30, 2020, date for compliance with the Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”) draws near, federal and state regulators are increasingly vocal in warning market participants about how they should treat client investors. Fortunately, the regulators have provided a constant flow of guidance and resources designed to help firms prepare.

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FINRA Talks Dispute Resolution - Offers Tips and Advice to Counsel and Arbitrators

On February 3, 2020, the New York County Lawyers Association hosted its “21st Annual FINRA Listens and Speaks” panel. The panel members discussed recent statistics, proposed regulations, and tips for counsel and arbitrators on the agency’s dispute resolution efforts. Bates takes a closer look at what you need to know. 

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New OCIE Report Offers Best Practices for Firms to Enhance Cyber Preparedness and Resiliency

On the heels of their 2020 examinations priorities report, OCIE has issued a new report on “Cybersecurity and Resiliency Observations” to reemphasize that cybersecurity is a top examination priority and that registered entities should be assessing their practices and procedures to ensure adequate compliance. Bates Research takes a closer look at what OCIE wants you to know.

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Private Placement Alert: GPB Private Funds Under Scrutiny

Bates Group is alerting counsel that we are seeing cases filed where firms sold private funds issued by GPB Capital Holdings LLC. It is alleged that firms selling these funds were negligent and failed to perform adequate due diligence when approving these funds for sale, misrepresented and omitted material information when recommending and/or selling these funds to their clients, had conflicting interests in selling the GPB Capital Funds, negligently supervised the sale of these funds and breached the fiduciary duty owed to their clients. 

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