News – Bates Research

Bates Research, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  02-02-21

FINRA Releases 2021 Report on FINRA’s Examination and Risk Monitoring Program

FINRA has announced the publication of the 2021 Report on FINRA's Examination and Risk Monitoring Program. The new Report combines and replaces two previously published annual reports, the Report on Examination Findings and Observations and the Risk Monitoring and Examination Program Priorities Letter.

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Bates Research  |  01-14-21

Significant Changes to Anti-Money Laundering Framework Enacted into Law

The new Anti-Money Laundering Act (AMLA) became law on January 1, 2021, extending the “risk-based” AML approach to regulation and enforcement. AMLA is the most significant update to the Bank Secrecy Act rules since the USA PATRIOT Act in 2001. It incorporates substantial changes to the laws governing the combatting of money laundering and terrorist financing. Read the full article to learn about key final provisions that will lead to many changes in industry rules and practices going forward, and how Bates AML and Financial Crimes can support your.

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Bates Research, Compliance and Regulatory Alerts  |  01-08-21

SEC Rewrites Rules on Investment Adviser Marketing

Just prior to the new year, the SEC finalized significant changes to rules and forms governing advertising and cash solicitations under the Investment Advisers Act, replacing both the prior Advertising Rule and Cash Solicitation Rule with a single, broad, “modernized” marketing rule. The new rule also amends investment adviser registration Form ADV and the books and records rule to reflect the related changes. In this article, we detail key provisions of the new rule and how Bates will help your firm navigate and implement this significant rule change.

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Bates Research  |  12-17-20

Federal Law Enforcement Targets 2300 Money Mules Fueling Fraud in All 50 States

On December 2, 2020, federal law enforcement cracked down on money mules again in a joint operation involving nine federal law enforcement agencies to “disrupt the networks through which transnational fraudsters move the proceeds of their crimes.” Bates reviews the highlights and takeaways from the recent announcement by the DOJ and partner agencies. Read the full article to learn about this nationwide initiative and the variety of scams utilizing money mules targeting your financial firm, customers, and elder clients in particular.

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Bates Research  |  12-11-20

Multi-Branch Office Supervision and Compliance – OCIE Details Deficiencies

Last month, OCIE released a Risk Alert urging SEC-registered investment advisers to consider the “unique risks and challenges presented by “employing a business model that includes numerous branch offices and business operations that are geographically dispersed.” Although COVID-19 was not the basis for the alert, the pandemic undeniably added urgency to issues around remote supervision and compliance, pushing the topic higher on the list of areas OCIE is continuing to monitor. Bates takes a closer look at OCIE’s findings and warnings to firms overseeing multi-branch office compliance.

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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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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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