News – Bates Research

Bates Research  |  06-23-22

Fighting Elder Financial Exploitation: FinCEN Releases Behavioral and Financial Red Flags, NASAA Publishes Guidance on POAs, CFTC Releases Warnings

Timed to coincide with World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15, 2022, federal and state government officials issued proclamations, advisories, and new resources to help in the fight against senior financial abuse. Despite many government initiatives now in place to go after the perpetrators of elder financial abuse, the problem continues to grow. Taken together, these latest government alerts offer a snapshot of where things stand. In this article, we take a look at the most significant developments.


Bates Research  |  06-17-22

A Comprehensive Bi-Partisan Approach to Cryptocurrency: New Senate Bill Seeks to Establish Digital Asset Framework and Legal Oversight

Federal and state efforts to enact legislation on digital assets of all kinds are not new. Now, against the backdrop of a plunging cryptocurrency market, Senators Cynthia M. Lummis (R-Wyo.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) have unveiled their “Responsible Financial Innovation Act” (“RFIA”), a bill intended to establish a comprehensive regulatory framework for digital assets. The RFIA is bipartisan, comprehensive across multiple regulatory agencies, and contains clear definitions on digital assets that attempt to clarify legal requirements and oversight. In this article, we look at the outlines of the bill and consider early market reaction.


Bates Research  |  06-09-22

Regulatory and Legislative Action on SPACs Gaining Momentum: SEC Rule Proposal and Senate Legislation Introduced; Class Actions Growing

It has been clear for some time that regulators are targeting special purpose acquisition companies (“SPACs”) for increased scrutiny, tighter rules, and aggressive enforcement. Both the SEC and Senate legislators are proposing new rules and laws governing SPACs. This regulatory and legislative activity comes amid poor overall SPAC performance and volatility. In this post, we review the proposed SEC regulation, Senator Elizabeth Warren’s SPAC report, the anticipated legislation, and current conditions.


Bates Research  |  06-01-22

Non-Fungible Tokens: a Beginner’s Perspective

What is a Non-Fungible Token (NFT)? We've all heard of NFTs by now, and when this term comes up in the news or a talk with friends, there is no shortage of opinions. In this article, we examine what NFTs are, how they work, and some of their potential risks and benefits. 


Bates Research  |  05-26-22

SEC Chair Gensler Speaks: The Latest on the SEC’s Agenda

In a conversation with FINRA President Robert Cook at FINRA’s annual conference last week, SEC Chair Gary Gensler discussed his agency’s rulemaking agenda by explaining that the market is in the midst of a transformation that requires adjustments, modernizations and updates to existing regulations. The next day, Chair Gensler addressed an audience of State securities regulators on the implication of digital engagement practices on broker-dealer and adviser obligations. Here are some of the highlights from both events.


Bates Research  |  04-28-22

SEC Spotlight: New Cybersecurity Rules Heading Your Way

As part of SEC Chair Gary Gensler's ambitious cybersecurity agenda, the SEC has proposed rules and and made strides to address a number of its 2022 priorities. In a January 2022 speech before the Northwestern Pritzker School of Law’s Annual Securities Regulation Institute, Chair Gensler listed four targets for revised regulatory policy: (i) SEC registrants; (ii) public companies; (iii) service providers that work with SEC registrants; and (iv) the SEC itself. To date, he has moved the ball forward on the first two of these targets, and his most recent announcements suggest more to come. In this article, we review the recent SEC rule proposals and look at the most recent developments. 


Bates Research  |  04-14-22

SEC 2022 Exam Priorities and Chart: Retail Investor Protection, Private Funds, ESG, Cybersecurity and Crypto-Assets Top this Year’s List

In its annual priorities report, the SEC Examinations Division focused on areas of “heightened risk to investors, registrants and the markets.” The priorities list serves as both a reflection of new and evolving threats, and as a reminder for firms to address compliance gaps or deficiencies the Division observed over the past fiscal year. In this article, Bates reviews the report in detail as we adapt our own annual summary Chart to track the SEC's evolving priorities.


Bates Research  |  03-31-22

President Biden Issues Executive Order on Crypto Seeking “Whole-Of-Government Approach”

In a recent article assessing the regulatory horizon for cryptocurrency, Bates identified several areas of uncertainty which raised certain questions. We may now have answers to those questions in the form of an Executive Order and accompanying Fact Sheet on “ensuring responsible development of digital assets,” issued by President Biden on March 9, 2022. Here is an overview of the main points.  


Bates Research, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  03-30-22

SEC Division of Examinations Announces 2022 Examination Priorities

The SEC Division of Examinations has just released its 2022 examination priorities report, focusing on Private Funds, ESG Investing, Standards of Conduct (including Regulation Best Interest, Fiduciary Duty, and Form CRS), Information Security and Operational Resiliency, and Emerging Technologies and Crypto-Assets. Stay tuned for our annual commentary, coming soon.


Bates Research  |  03-22-22

Dispelling Five Common Misconceptions About Cryptocurrencies

As cryptocurrency becomes more mainstream, many people are looking to learn more, including bankers and regulators. Financial institutions are also currently trying to determine how to integrate cryptocurrency into the traditional banking and investment worlds. Read the full article from Managing Director Brandi B. Reynolds and Consulting Expert Paul Nelson to learn about five common cryptocurrency misconceptions and how Bates can help your firm.


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