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New York Sets Guidance for Approval of Virtual Currency Activities
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01-13-23

New York Sets Guidance for Approval of Virtual Currency Activities

All New York banking organizations—and all New York licensed branches and agencies of foreign banking organizations—must get approval from the New York State Department of Financial Services prior to engaging in virtual currency-related activity. The NYDFS clarified its expectations on that requirement in an industry guidance letter dated December 15, 2022. Bates has the details in a new article.

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What Banks Should Consider When Accepting Crypto Customers
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01-11-23

What Banks Should Consider When Accepting Crypto Customers

Banks are quickly realizing that it’s time to embrace crypto customers. With the rise of digital banking, more people are choosing to store their funds in cryptocurrencies, and banks need to be able to accept these customers as part of their services. Here, we look at the important considerations that banks should make as they begin to accept cryptocurrency customers. 

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FINRA Publishes 2023 Report on Exam and Risk Monitoring Program

01-10-23

FINRA Publishes 2023 Report on Exam and Risk Monitoring Program

FINRA has announced the publication of the 2023 Report on FINRA's Examination and Risk Monitoring Program. The comprehensive report from FINRA’s regulatory operations covers 24 topics relevant to the evolving securities industry. Additionally, the report introduces a new Financial Crimes section highlighting FINRA’s increased focus on protecting investors and safeguarding market integrity against these ongoing threats. Stay tuned for our annual commentary, coming soon, on FINRA’s 2023 objectives and how they may impact your legal, regulatory and compliance matters.

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Are You Doing Enough to Supervise Your Options Accounts?

01-04-23

Are You Doing Enough to Supervise Your Options Accounts?

Beginning in August 2021, FINRA examined firms to assess the sufficiency of their practices and controls over options accounts. FINRA just issued an update based on the results, including new guidance on what they want you to consider in order to enhance your supervision and revise your compliance programs.

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SEC to IAs: Take ESG Compliance Very Seriously

12-13-22

SEC to IAs: Take ESG Compliance Very Seriously

The SEC recently held a National Seminar on compliance for investment advisers and investment company senior officers. Of the many important panels at the day-long seminar, one was devoted to the SEC’s expectations on investment adviser compliance with ESG requirements. A week later, on November 22, 2022, the regulator announced a $4 million settlement with a large investment adviser for ESG-related compliance failures. Read our new article with takeaways from the seminar, which covered SEC exam concerns, an ESG disclosure proposal update, recent enforcement activity, and a CCO’s advice on ESG compliance.

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SEC FY2022 Enforcement Division Report: Regulator Raises Penalties to Increase Deterrence

12-02-22

SEC FY2022 Enforcement Division Report: Regulator Raises Penalties to Increase Deterrence

In its annual report of legal actions taken in FY2022 (ending September 30), the SEC noted its “robust enforcement” efforts to “impose penalties designed to deter future violations, establish accountability from major institutions, and order tailored undertakings that provide potential roadmaps for compliance by other firms.” The numbers bear out just how robust SEC enforcement efforts have been. In this article, Bates takes a look at the details in the new report.

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On Our Radar: Crypto Regulatory and Enforcement Roundup

11-21-22

On Our Radar: Crypto Regulatory and Enforcement Roundup

Regulatory and enforcement activity has been brisk since nine federal agencies issued a “Comprehensive Framework for Responsible Development of Digital Assets” in response to President Biden’s Executive Order to collaborate on a “whole of government approach.” 

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Are Your Firm’s Policies and Procedures Working as Intended for Rights of Reinstatement?

11-16-22

Are Your Firm’s Policies and Procedures Working as Intended for Rights of Reinstatement?

FINRA has remained focused on ensuring that eligible customers received Rights of Reinstatement (“ROR”) benefits where appropriate. Just recently, we were retained by another large firm looking to leverage the depth of our experience gained through many engagements assisting our clients with Rights of Reinstatement issues since the targeted examination announcement in 2020. Contact Bates today if you are facing a FINRA inquiry or other action or need to update your policies and procedures.

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The New Federal Digital Asset Framework: Where Are We Now?
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11-16-22

The New Federal Digital Asset Framework: Where Are We Now?

Since President Biden issued an Executive Order in March 2002 directing agencies to collaborate on a “whole of government approach” for ensuring the responsible development of digital assets, the market has been anticipating the release of the broader framework. The Framework, issued on September 16, 2022, remains a high-level mix of broad directives by nine separate federal agencies which support these goals. Bates has the highlights.

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Contact Bates Group

Bates Group is with you every step of the way. Contact us today for more information on how our End-to-End Solutions can help your firm.