United States

Basel Committee approves annual G-SIBs assessment, updates workplan to evaluate post-crisis reforms

On 25 September 2020, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee) issued a press statement following its meeting on 14, 18 and 25 September 2020 to take stock of COVID-19 risks to the global banking system and related vulnerabilities. Key points in the press statement include: The Basel Committee reiterates its previous guidance that … Continue Reading

New SEC Final Rule clarifies whistleblower program

On September 23, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted a Final Rule, effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, regarding various aspects of its whistleblower program (the Program). Two points are particularly noteworthy. First, the SEC “clarified” that it has the authority and discretion to adjust large awards. Second, there … Continue Reading

FinCEN finalizes AML requirements for certain banks; asks for comments on possible rulemaking on AML compliance programs

On September 15, 2020, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the US anti-money laundering (AML) agency, published a final rule that completes the circle of all banking organizations being treated the same for purposes of AML compliance requirements for banks. The final rule covers banks that do not have a Federal functional regulator, such as … Continue Reading

IOSCO issues measures to reduce conflict of interests in debt capital raising

On 21 September 2020, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a final report containing guidance on potential conflicts of interest and associated conduct risks market intermediaries may face during the debt capital raising process. The guidance is in the form of nine measures. Each measure is designed to address one or more of … Continue Reading

FATF report – virtual assets red flag indicators of money laundering and terrorist financing

On 14 September 2020, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published a report, Virtual Assets – Red Flag Indicators of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing. The report is based on more than 100 case studies and is designed to help national authorities and financial institutions identify potential money laundering and terrorist financing activity involving virtual … Continue Reading

ESG Compass for the Disclosure Regulation

The new European Disclosure Regulation provides the central schedule of obligations for ESG-related disclosures in the EU financial services sector. Many of the disclosure requirements start to apply from 10 March 2021 and therefore all financial market participants and financial advisors need to start considering the content of the requirements in order to address the … Continue Reading

Regulatory framework for haircuts on non-centrally cleared securities financing transactions – FSB extends implementation deadlines

On 7 September 2020, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) issued a press release stating that it has decided to delay by one year the implementation dates for its policy recommendations relating to minimum haircut standards for non-centrally cleared securities financing transactions. In August 2013 the FSB developed policy recommendations to address financial stability risks that … Continue Reading

SWIFT publishes “Follow the Money” report to aid comprehension of money laundering risks underpinning large-scale cyber-heists

In September 2020, SWIFT (a global member-owned cooperative and provider of secure financial messaging services) published a report to support market participants in understanding the money laundering techniques which underpin large-scale cyber-attacks. The report sets out the end-to-end journey commonly used by criminals to launder funds obtained through illicit cyber-crime related activities, and focusses on … Continue Reading

New York State Legislature passes bill allowing C-PACE financing for new construction

To promote growth of renewable energy projects, the New York State Legislature recently passed bill A.7805/S.6523 (the “C-PACE Bill”), which will allow real estate developers and commercial property owners to obtain Property Assessed Clean Energy (“PACE”) financing for new construction projects. PACE programs are thought to be beneficial for cities, promoting energy efficiency, reducing energy … Continue Reading

The LIBOR Transition – CFTC issues more LIBOR transition relief

On August 31, 2020, in response to requests by the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (ARRC), the US Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) issued revised no-action letters to swap dealers and other market participants relating to the transition from use of the London Interbank Offered Rate (LIBOR) as a reference rates in transactions. These letters supersede … Continue Reading

NGFS publishes its 2020-2022 work program and announces changes in the governance

On 3 September 2020, the Network for Greening the Financial System (NGFS) announced its 2020 – 2022 work program that will include continuing its work on climate scenario analysis and scaling up green finance. The NGFS will also create two new work streams focussing on addressing data gaps and research. The NGFS, launched at the … Continue Reading

US banking agencies and FinCEN issue statements regarding AML enforcement

Last month the US federal banking agencies (the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the National Credit Union Administration, collectively, the “US banking regulators”) and the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”) the US anti-money laundering (“AML”) agency, issued statements providing guidance on their … Continue Reading

FINRA (and selected SEC) regulatory matters at a glance: What compliance officers need to know

Access the August issue for an overview of FINRA and SEC regulatory developments of interest to broker-dealers. Glen Barrentine is Of Counsel in the New York office of Norton Rose Fulbright. His practice focuses broadly on SEC regulated financial service clients, including broker-dealers, securities exchanges, municipal advisors and investment advisers. Glen frequency represents clients in connection … Continue Reading

The LIBOR Transition – ARRC Releases Helpful Resource Guides for Market Participants

With the potential end of LIBOR quickly approaching in only 16 months, the ARRC has been publishing many helpful resources to aid in the market’s transitions from LIBOR to SOFR, including multiple quick reference resource guides listed below. As part of the ARRC’s Summer Series (a webinar series aimed at educating the public about SOFR … Continue Reading

US SEC adopts amendments to expand scope of “accredited investor” definition

On August 26, 2020, the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) adopted amendments to expand the scope of the “accredited investor” definition, allowing a greater pool of investors to access the private capital markets. The amendments add new categories of qualified natural persons who meet certain professional knowledge or certification requirements and expand the list … Continue Reading

BIS publishes speech on reg tech and sup tech

On 21 August 2020, the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) published a speech by Benoît Cœuré, Head of the BIS Innovation Hub, which focussed on the main challenges to the development of reg tech and sup tech in the financial services sector. Cœuré begins by describing the differences between reg and sup tech – namely … Continue Reading

Brexit: Where have we got to and what should you do now?

Webinar on 2 September 2020 at 8:45am to 10:00am (BST) We are evolving our successful 40 minute briefings into webinars for financial services professionals. This includes senior management and those in legal, compliance and risk teams who have or are developing financial services expertise. The webinars will be led by senior members of our financial … Continue Reading

FSB questionnaire on continuity of access to FMIs for firms in resolution

On 14 August 2020, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a common template for gathering information about continuity of access to financial market infrastructures (FMIs) for firms in resolution. The template takes the form of a questionnaire that all FMIs are encouraged to complete. The questionnaire covers: general information on the FMI and its legal … Continue Reading

Publication of Wolfsberg Group statement on developing an effective AML/CTF programme

On 12 August 2020, the Wolfsberg Group published its statement on developing an effective anti-money laundering (AML) / counter-terrorism financing (CTF) programme. In December 2019, the Wolfsberg Group published a statement on effectiveness which encourages jurisdictions to adopt the Financial Action Task Force’s focus on effective outcomes. As part of that statement, the Wolfsberg Group … Continue Reading

IOSCO report on liquidity provision in the secondary markets for equity securities

On 11 August 2020, the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a report, Liquidity provision in the secondary markets for equity securities. The report identifies some of the key elements of market making programs that may help promote the provision of liquidity, strengthen investor confidence and foster fair and efficient markets. The report focuses … Continue Reading

SEC and CFTC issue Settlement and Order against Abra simultaneously

In what appears to be a coordinated effort, the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) and Commodities Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) both issued orders relating to Plutus Financial—doing business as Abra—and its Philippines-centered partner, Plutus Technologies Philippine Corporation (Plutus Tech). The July 13, 2020 orders found Abra and Plutus Tech had violated sections of the Securities Act … Continue Reading

Wolsfsberg Group publishes new AML guidance to support source of wealth and source of funds due diligence

On 7 August 2020, the Wolfsberg Group, published new guidance targeted at private banking and wealth management divisions within financial institutions (FIs) to support the undertaking of source of wealth (SoW) and source of funds (SoF) checks. Based on the principles of the application of a risk-based approach (RBA), different customers will require a different … Continue Reading

A little less privacy: cryptocurrency transactions under the Fourth Amendment

For some people, the appeal of using cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin includes the perception that they may offer greater privacy protections for financial transactions, including shielding them from law enforcement scrutiny. A recent federal appellate ruling in a Fourth Amendment case suggests this perception may not align with current legal reality. In his latest column in … Continue Reading

Basel Committee releases consultative documents on Principles for operational risk and operational resilience

On 6 August 2020, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (Basel Committee) published a consultative document seeking comments on proposed Principles for operational resilience. Given the natural relationship between operational resilience and operational risk, the Basel Committee is also proposing to update its Principles for the sound management of operational risk (PSMOR). The Basel Committee … Continue Reading
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