News – Bates Research

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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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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Bates Research  |  10-22-20

SEC Chair and Director of Enforcement Review the Record

In a likely preview of the SEC Division of Enforcement 2020 Annual Report, SEC Chair Jay Clayton and Division of Enforcement Director Stephanie Avakian gave back-to-back speeches regarding the agency’s enforcement record since they took the reins in 2017. In context, these speeches presented a strong accounting of the impact the Division has had on the financial industry during their tenure. The remarks, delivered last month to the Institute for Law and Economics at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, also raised some of the important challenges to the SEC’s enforcement priorities presented by COVID-19. Here are the highlights from their speeches.

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Bates News, Bates Research  |  10-13-20

Important Takeaways from SIFMA-Bates Virtual Branch Office Compliance Visits Webinar

On Monday, October 5, 2020, nearly 700 Compliance, Supervision, Risk, Legal and Regulatory experts and professionals tuned in to a panel discussion covering virtual branch office inspections and the challenges facing regulators and industry supervision and compliance teams. The webinar, jointly organized by Bates Compliance and SIFMA, reviewed the current requirements and status of branch office inspections, recent regulatory relief, and compliance expectations for on-site inspection requirements going forward. Here are some important takeaways from this discussion.

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Bates Research  |  09-17-20

FinCen Focus: Customer Due Diligence with Banking Agencies, SARs Warnings and BSA Enforcement

Just a few weeks ago, Bates highlighted a series of Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) compliance communications. Since then, FinCEN, along with other banking agencies (including the Federal Reserve and FDIC), has issued several important public statements on CDD requirements, the unlawful disclosure of SARs information and BSA enforcement approach. Bates has a recap of these new communications.

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Bates Research  |  09-10-20

NASAA Rounds Out Busy Summer with Active Policy and Enforcement Agenda

The North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) continues to assert its member states’ interests in fighting for and protecting investors and consumers in the financial markets. We have assembled a roundup of recent NASAA actions on enforcement, model legislation and regulatory policy, including updates on: COVID-19 enforcement, whistleblowers, restitution funds for securities fraud victims, SEC "Accredited Investor" definition, DOL advice proposal, FINRA proposed beneficiary arrangements, financial professionals with diminished capacity, and what to expect going forward.

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Bates News, Events, Bates Research, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  09-03-20

Bates Group Summer Roundup – Catch Up on What You’ve Missed and What’s Coming Up This Fall

Labor Day is almost here, which means those lazy, remote days of summer are coming to a close. What did you miss when you powered down this summer? We have a roundup of all the important Bates news, events and alerts from July and August as well as a sneak peek of the next few months to help you head into Fall fully prepared. 

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Bates Research  |  08-20-20

New FinCen Guidance on the CDD Rule, Cyber Fraud and Virtual Currency Scams Exploiting Twitter

Over the past several weeks, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) has issued new guidance on customer due diligence requirements, an advisory on cyber-enabled financial crime and an alert concerning scams involving fraudulent payments denominated in convertible virtual currency. These are significant compliance communications for financial institutions and come on the heels of FinCEN’s recent alerts on imposter fraud and money mule schemes.

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