News

Bates Research  |  12-03-20

Noting Deficiencies, OCIE Warns IAs to Comply with the Compliance Rule; Director Driscoll Emphasizes CCO Empowerment

On November 19, 2020, OCIE issued an alert on common deficiencies identified in recent examinations related to the obligations on investment advisers required by the Advisers Act (“Compliance Rule”). In this article, Bates takes a closer look at OCIE’s recent findings and the additional emphasis placed upon the role of CCOs by OCIE Director Peter Driscoll (pictured) in a related address.

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Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  12-01-20

FINRA is Reviewing Firms’ Systems and Procedures for Providing Customer Waivers/Rebates through Rights of Reinstatement (RoR) on Mutual Fund Purchases

FINRA is conducting a targeted review of brokerage firms' systems and procedures for providing customers waivers and rebates available through Rights of Reinstatement (RoR) on mutual fund purchases. As part of this review, FINRA will request each firm that receives this information request respond to certain questions with respect to the period of January 1, 2017 through June 30, 2020.

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Events  |  11-30-20

IAA 2020 Compliance Workshops December 2-3, 2020 - Sponsored by Bates Compliance

The Investment Adviser Association (IAA) will be holding their 2020 Compliance Workshops on Wednesday and Thursday, December 2-3, 2020. This virtual event features breakouts with speakers from nine SEC regional offices across the country sharing current examination priorities for investment advisers, in addition to general sessions covering other important matters for the advisory community, such as managing conflicts of interest. Bates Compliance Managing Director Linda Shirkey will be speaking on the Day 2 General Session "Fiduciary Obligations for Identifying, Managing, and Disclosing Conflicts of Interest."

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Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  11-23-20

SEC Allows Remote Inspections Through 2021

On November 18, 2020, the SEC made effective FINRA’s proposed temporary rule amendment allowing remote inspections through December 31, 2021. The SEC regulatory action adopts temporary relief (Supplementary Material .17) under FINRA Rule 3110 (Supervision) by providing member firms the option to remotely complete inspection obligations for Calendar Years 2020 and 2021. FINRA stated that the change was a response to the operational challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Bates Research  |  11-20-20

Tracking FinCEN Moves: Regulator Issues a Flurry of Advisories on Ransomware, Unemployment, Human Trafficking, Rule Amendments and More

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) continues its fast pace, issuing important new advisories, statements and rulemakings. Since September, FinCEN has issued advisories on ransomware, unemployment insurance fraud, and the money laundering aspects of human trafficking, an Order targeting certain residential real estate transactions based on geography, and has proposed specific amendments that affect recordkeeping and travel, as well as broad recommendations affecting Bank Secrecy Act regulations that make up the current anti-money laundering framework. Bates takes a look at the details you need to know.

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Events  |  11-19-20

NYCLA CLE Webinar December 2nd: “Who’s Zoomin’ Who?” Virtual FINRA Hearings, Mediations and Developments in the Real World

Join the New York Country Lawyers Association’s Securities & Exchange Committee on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 2 pm, when distinguished CLE panel members share their tried and true insights and guidance on managing FINRA virtual hearings and mediations. Hear about current and future virtual FINRA hearing developments to prepare for 2021.

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Events  |  11-17-20

Upcoming ABA CLE Webinar: Exploitation of Senior and Vulnerable Investors in the COVID-19 Era and Regulatory Responses

ABA CLE Event: Explore the dangers for seniors & vulnerable investors in the COVID19 era, and the response of regulators. Panel includes nationally-recognized senior issues expert witness & Bates director Joe Thomas, Bates senior issues expert Amy Bard, and Richard Szuch of the New Jersey Bureau of Securities Enforcement Division.

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Bates Research  |  11-12-20

SEC and FINRA Offer Observations to Improve Compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS

On October 26, 2020, the SEC and FINRA staff held a remote public roundtable to discuss the implementation of Reg BI and Form CRS since mandatory compliance began on June 30, 2020. During the regulators' roundtable, staff reviewed the core obligations required by Reg. BI and Form CRS and their observations on firms' compliance with the new rules, including areas where firms require improvement.

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Bates Research  |  11-05-20

FINRA Proposes Senior Rule Amendments to Extend Hold Period on Senior Accounts and Permit Holds on Transactions in Securities

Based on feedback from a retrospective rule review initiated in August 2019, FINRA proposed rule amendments intended to strengthen the ability of member firms to address suspected financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable individuals. The proposed amendments would permit a broker-dealer to impose a longer hold period on a senior investor's account and to expand coverage to include holds on transactions in securities. FINRA seeks comments by December 4, 2020. Please read the full article for a closer look.

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Bates Research  |  10-29-20

Bates Expert Interview:  Reflections on the Impact of COVID-19 on the Fixed Income Market

We asked Bates Group experts and consultants with deep experience in fixed income and municipal securities to share some perspective on how the pandemic has impacted investors over the past six months. Here are some of their insights on recent market volatility, Federal Reserve intervention, credit ratings, and the likelihood of potential investor litigation going forward.

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