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New Jersey Makes Its Move, Proposes Financial Services Fiduciary Standard

Bates News, Bates Research  |  05-02-19

New Jersey Makes Its Move, Proposes Financial Services Fiduciary Standard

On April 15th, the New Jersey State Bureau of Securities proposed applying uniform fiduciary standards to broker-dealers and investment advisers. Promoted by Governor Phil Murphy (pictured), the proposed rule would deem any breach of fiduciary duty owed to a customer under the proposed regulation a “dishonest and unethical practice.” In this article, Bates describes the state's proposal and considers some of the implications and reaction to New Jersey's move.

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Federal Legislators Target Mandatory Arbitration

Bates News, Bates Research  |  04-25-19

Federal Legislators Target Mandatory Arbitration

Longstanding opposition to mandatory arbitration is finding renewed momentum as federal legislators introduce bills to limit or even eliminate the binding provisions in consumer, employment and financial contracts. In this article, Bates Research looks at the new legislation targeting mandatory arbitration agreements, some reactions by industry groups and recent developments on the broader subject, including yesterday’s U.S. Supreme Court arbitration decision and continued pressure on FINRA.

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Bates Welcomes Our Newest Experts and Consultants

Bates News, Industry News  |  04-17-19

Bates Welcomes Our Newest Experts and Consultants

Bates is proud to introduce four new experts and consultants: Jennifer Bergenfeld, Pamela O’Neill, Matthew Sekerke and Phil Swatzell.

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Bates Group President Ben Pappas Honored as a 2019 “Forty Under 40”  by Portland Business Journal

Bates News  |  04-17-19

Bates Group President Ben Pappas Honored as a 2019 “Forty Under 40”  by Portland Business Journal

Bates Group congratulates President Benjamin Pappas on his recognition as a 2019 "Forty Under 40" business leader by the Portland Business Journal.

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FINRA Is Scrutinizing UTMA/UGMA Accounts

Bates News, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts, Industry News  |  04-11-19

FINRA Is Scrutinizing UTMA/UGMA Accounts

In June 2018, Bates Group published an article reporting on deficiencies identified by FINRA in its exam findings which may trigger further scrutiny. In that article we noted FINRA’s focus on the Uniform Transfer to Minors Act (UTMA), among other exam topics. That scrutiny has now arrived in the form of FINRA inquiries/investigations into how accounts for UTMA and Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) accounts are handled at financial services firms.

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Spotlight: Q&A with R. Gerald (“Jerry”) Baker, Bates Group Senior Compliance Consultant

Bates News, Bates Research, Industry News  |  04-05-19

Spotlight: Q&A with R. Gerald (“Jerry”) Baker, Bates Group Senior Compliance Consultant

Bates Research interviews our most senior experts to get their perspective on the latest regulatory and compliance concerns affecting clients today. We sat down with R. Gerald (“Jerry”) Baker, a Consultant with Bates Compliance Solutions, and an expert with over 45 years of financial services and compliance experience, and asked him to share his observations on some of the current challenges confronting broker dealers and RIAs.

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U.S. House Moves to Address AML/BSA Framework

Bates News, Bates Research  |  04-04-19

U.S. House Moves to Address AML/BSA Framework

On March 13, 2019, the U.S. House of Representatives adopted a resolution, sponsored by House Financial Services Committee (HSFC) Chair Maxine Waters, declaring that “the lack of sunlight and transparency in financial transactions poses a threat to our national security and our economy’s security.” On the same day, a subcommittee of the HFSC considered legislative proposals aimed at modernizing the Bank Secrecy Act (BSA) and closing loopholes in the Anti Money Laundering/Countering the Financing of Terrorism (AML/CFT) framework, including building on the use of beneficial ownership information collected under Customer Due Diligence (CDD) rules that went into effect last year. In this article, Bates Research continues its review of developing Congressional legislative efforts to detect and deter financial crime.

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Bates Director Joe Thomas to Speak at SIFMA’s Senior Investor Protection Regional Workshop

Bates News, Industry News  |  04-02-19

Bates Director Joe Thomas to Speak at SIFMA’s Senior Investor Protection Regional Workshop

Bates Group Director Joseph “Joe” Thomas, Senior Investor Expert, will be speaking at the SIFMA Senior Investor Protection Workshop, April 3rd at Edward Jones in Tempe, AZ, on the panel “Protecting Your Senior Clients: Prevention, Identification and Action.” Panelists will discuss promising practices to help prevent, spot and address situations of financial exploitation and cognitive decline.

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NASAA Update: Legislative Agenda, President Provides Testimony on Regulation Best Interest

Bates News, Bates Research  |  03-28-19

NASAA Update: Legislative Agenda, President Provides Testimony on Regulation Best Interest

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has been in the public eye this month as state regulators (i) issued a set of federal legislative priorities and (ii) provided written testimony to the U.S. House Financial Services Committee concerning the need for greater clarity on the SEC proposed Regulation Best Interest. In this article, we look at NASAA’s 2019 legislative and regulatory priorities and summarize NASAA president Michael Pieciak's (pictured at left) latest take on the SEC’s efforts to find an acceptable compromise on broker standards of conduct.

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Justice Department Coordinates Largest Ever Elder Fraud Sweep:

Bates News, Bates Research  |  03-14-19

Justice Department Coordinates Largest Ever Elder Fraud Sweep:

260 Global Defendants said to have Targeted 2 Million Americans, Mostly Elder

On March 7th, federal and state enforcement agencies announced they had embarked on a massive crackdown on financial fraud directed at seniors. As part of the “sweep,” the Justice Department reported the filing of criminal or civil charges against hundreds of alleged offenders as well as the launch of targeted public education efforts throughout the country. According to the United States Attorney General, the coordinated actions reached into every federal district across the country and served to underscore the government’s efforts to protect a vulnerable population and address this complex and widespread problem.

In our last post, Bates Research highlighted the CFPB's analysis of five years’ worth of SARs data relating to elder financial exploitation. The use of the information contained in these filings represents an attempt by regulators to create and use data to better understand the scope of the problem and to inform enforcement and public education efforts. In this article, we look at current efforts on the enforcement side, as represented by the actions undertaken last week.

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