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News & Events – Compliance and Regulatory Alerts

This Week in Reg BI: SEC-FINRA Roundtable and Bates Compliance-Global Relay Webinar “REG BI - 120 Days On”

10-26-20

This Week in Reg BI: SEC-FINRA Roundtable and Bates Compliance-Global Relay Webinar “REG BI - 120 Days On”

Today, October 26, 2020, the SEC and FINRA staff will hold a remote public roundtable to discuss their observations on the implementation of Regulation Best Interest (“Reg BI”) and Customer Relationship Summary disclosure form (“Form CRS”) since mandatory compliance began on June 30, 2020. Following the program, on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 at 2 pm ET / 11 am PT, Bates Compliance will hold its own webinar with Global Relay to discuss “Reg BI - 120 Days On.”

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OCIE Warns Against Emerging Cyber Threat of “Credential Stuffing”

09-18-20

OCIE Warns Against Emerging Cyber Threat of “Credential Stuffing”

On September 15, 2020, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) issued an alert urging investment advisers and broker-dealers to review their customer account protection safeguards and identity theft prevention programs. The impetus behind the alert is an increase in the number of cyber-attacks using a tactic called “credential stuffing,” observed during recent examinations. OCIE also disclosed a number of practices firms are using to mitigate this emergent risk.

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SEC Amends Definition of “Accredited Investor”

08-31-20

SEC Amends Definition of “Accredited Investor”

In an effort to broaden investment opportunities in private funds, the SEC expanded the definition of “accredited investor” to include a host of “natural persons” and other entities that would not otherwise qualify under the current rigorous disclosure and procedural requirements. The revised definition is intended to increase the number of investors that will have access to private investments.

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SEC Issues COVID-19 Compliance Observations and Recommendations for BDs and IAs

08-17-20

SEC Issues COVID-19 Compliance Observations and Recommendations for BDs and IAs

On August 12, 2020 the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) staff alerted broker-dealers and investment advisers to additional COVID-19 compliance risks. The new considerations are based on the “operational, technological [and] commercial challenges” raised by the public and private sector response to the pandemic. OCIE staff grouped their observations and recommendations into several categories—here’s what you need to know:  

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SEC Issues “Private Funds Adviser” Compliance Risk Alert

07-02-20

SEC Issues “Private Funds Adviser” Compliance Risk Alert

Investment advisers that manage private equity or hedge funds (“private funds advisers”) should review and enhance their compliance procedures to protect investors from (i) improper fees and expenses, (ii) conflicts of interest that may exist between the adviser and the fund, and (iii) the misuse of material non-public information (MNPI). That is the message communicated by an OCIE Risk Alert, published June 23, 2020. The Alert identified compliance deficiencies observed by SEC staff during recent examinations of private fund advisers.

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Reg BI & Form CRS Countdown: One Month to Go - Exams to Start July 1, 2020
Image © [Stillfx] /Adobe Stock

05-28-20

Reg BI & Form CRS Countdown: One Month to Go - Exams to Start July 1, 2020

The June 30th, 2020 implementation date for SEC Regulation Best Interest and the corresponding Customer Relationship Summary (Form CRS) is only one month away. At a recent SIFMA panel discussion covering a host of priorities amid COVID-19, FINRA legal, risk and supervision executives focused on some of the immediate concerns regarding Reg BI and Form CRS, including their examination focus and the suitability rule. Bates Compliance has the details.

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Bates Practice Leadership Insights: What Compliance Officers are Thinking About Now
Image © [frank peters] /Adobe Stock

05-20-20

Bates Practice Leadership Insights: What Compliance Officers are Thinking About Now

In this first of a series of conversations with Bates Group practice leaders, we caught up with Robert Lavigne, Managing Director and Bates Compliance Practice Leader, and Hank Sanchez, Esq., Bates Compliance Managing Director and former SEC and FINRA regulator, to get an understanding of what they are hearing from compliance officers right now, as well as advice for compliance teams in the "new normal."

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SEC Adopts Final Rule on Variable Contract Disclosure, Effective July 1, 2020

04-15-20

SEC Adopts Final Rule on Variable Contract Disclosure, Effective July 1, 2020

The SEC recently adopted new Rule 498A under the Securities Act, including various supporting amendments, to “simplify and streamline” the disclosure framework for variable annuities and variable life insurance contracts. As Bates described when the rule was first proposed, the new rule allows for a plain-English, easy to read, concise “summary prospectus” to satisfy obligations under the securities laws concerning variable product prospectus delivery. Read more to prepare for the July 1, 2020 effective date.

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SEC Issues Risk Alerts on Compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS

04-09-20

SEC Issues Risk Alerts on Compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS

On April 7, 2020, the SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations issued two new alerts to broker-dealers and investment advisers about the “expected scope and content” of its compliance examinations for Reg BI and the Client Relationship Summary (“Form CRS”). Previously, SEC Chair Jay Clayton announced that the June 30, 2020 compliance deadline for Reg BI will not be delayed due to the impact of COVID-19. These alerts, therefore, underscore the need for firms to be prepared and compliant by the deadline. Here, we detail what the SEC is expecting from you and firms.

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Update: SEC Amends ADV Filing and Delivery Deadline Extensions due to COVID-19

03-26-20

Update: SEC Amends ADV Filing and Delivery Deadline Extensions due to COVID-19

The SEC’s IAA Release No. 5469 on Wednesday, March 25, 2020 amends its IAA Release No. 5463 and now allows for extending the filing and delivery deadline dates of the Form ADV amendment to June 30, 2020 due to COVID-19 and its consequences. The SEC has also amended the notice requirements—find out what you MUST do if you cannot meet the filing deadlines.

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FINRA Warns Firms on UTMA/UGMA Account Supervision

03-25-20

FINRA Warns Firms on UTMA/UGMA Account Supervision

In a Notice issued on February 27, FINRA advised firms of their responsibilities over custodial accounts under the Uniform Transfers to Minors Act and Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (“UTMA/UGMA”) and warned members that adequate compliance requires firms to take into account termination of custodianship and changes of authority. Bates can help your firm respond to UTMA/UGMA account inquiries.

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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.