United States

Topic: Regulation and compliance

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

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 with SEC and FINRA enforcement proceedings and other contentious regulatory inquiries, purchases and sales, and the … Continue Reading

Federal regulators suspend foreclosures and evictions for certain home owners

With the COVID-19 pandemic bringing the U.S. economy to a halt, residential mortgage servicers are bracing for widespread defaults as a result of the general economic shutdown. A recent projection from Moody’s estimates that approximately 30% of home loans could enter default if the economic shutdown continues through the summer. To alleviate pressure on borrowers, … Continue Reading

The LIBOR Transition – ARRC’s Recommended Fallback Contract Language – New Variable Rate Private Student Loans

Following up on our past posts on the transition away from the London Interbank Offering Rate (“LIBOR”), and other interbank offering rates (“IBOR”) denominated in other currencies, in this post, we discuss the proposal from the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”) consultation on fallback contract language for new variable rate private student loans. This is … Continue Reading

NYDFS Requires COVID-19 Plans by April 9

On March 10, 2020, the New York Department of Financial Services (NYDFS) issued guidance to all of its regulated institutions engaged in virtual currency business activity, requiring them to have plans for preparedness to manage the possible operational and financial risks posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. NYDFS requires the plans to be submitted by Thursday, … Continue Reading

US banking regulators delay CECL adoption for some, but not all, banks

After industry groups stressed the need to adopt regulatory changes in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 27, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation and Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (collectively, the “Banking Agencies”) issued a joint press release announcing an interim final rule … Continue Reading

US financial regulators establish webpages on the COVID-19 pandemic

The US financial regulatory, consumer protection and enforcement supervisors are regularly issuing press releases and statements concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. Each of them has established special links to provide information to the public on its response to the pandemic. Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System: https://www.federalreserve.gov/covid-19.htm Commodity Futures Trading Commission: https://www.cftc.gov/coronavirus Conference of State … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve announces TALF 2.0 to assist asset-backed issuers

On March 23, 2020, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (the “Federal Reserve”) announced a wide array of actions intended to promote economic stability in light of the COVID-19 pandemic, including several different credit facilities. The Federal Reserve announced as one of these credit facilities a renewal of the Term Asset-Backed Securities … Continue Reading

FINRA Updates FAQs Related to COVID-19 Regulatory Relief

FINRA has supplemented its FAQs related to COVID-19 regulatory relief. Summaries of the new FAQs are provided below. Helpfully, FINRA has also provided a link to state “shelter-in-place” and “stay-at-home” orders. Impact of Communication Disruptions – Implications for Firms. FINRA states that member firms should consider steps they can take to mitigate risks that may … Continue Reading

SEC provides further COVID-19 relief relating to investment advisers regarding temporary locations and inadvertent adviser custody

On March 16, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management announced additional COVID-19 related relief. This relief is available on the SEC’s COVID-19 page, available here, and summarized below. Operation of Business From Temporary Locations. The conduct of business from temporary locations, such as an employee’s home, as part of a firm’s … Continue Reading

Coronavirus | COVID-19: US SEC provides temporary relief to assist funds and advisers by permitting virtual board meetings and providing reporting relief

On March 13, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) announced conditional, temporary relief for funds (available here) and both registered and exempt reporting investment advisers (available here) impacted by COVID-19. The relief covers in-person board meetings by fund boards and certain filing and delivery requirements for both advisers and funds. Funds and advisers that … Continue Reading

US banking regulators weigh in on the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

As with other US and non-US regulators, the US federal banking regulators (Federal Reserve Board, Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, collectively, the “US federal banking regulators”) have been issuing statements and providing guidance on the impact of the coronavirus on banking services. This blog posts covers some … Continue Reading

The LIBOR Transition – ARRC releases recommended NY Legislation on LIBOR

Following up on our past posts on the transition away from the London Interbank Offering Rate (“LIBOR”), and other interbank offering rates (“IBOR”) denominated in other currencies, we discuss the proposal from the Alternative Reference Rates Committee (“ARRC”) for New York legislation, which was published on March 6, 2020. The ARRC is a group of … Continue Reading

FINRA’s Guidance to Broker-Dealers on Pandemic Preparedness (coronavirus, COVID-19)

In light of mounting concerns about COVID-19, aka the coronavirus, FINRA recently published FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-08 – Pandemic-Related Business Continuity Planning, Guidance and Regulatory Relief. Notice 20-08 provides both guidance on pandemic preparedness and regulatory relief to impacted member firms. Notice 20-08 supplements previous guidance on pandemic preparedness that FINRA published in October 2009 … Continue Reading

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

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 with SEC and FINRA enforcement proceedings and other contentious regulatory inquiries, purchases and sales, and the preparation … Continue Reading

Federal Reserve Board finalizes rule to clarify and simplify “control” under the Bank Holding Company Act

On January 30, 2020, the Federal Reserve Board voted to finalize its April 2019 proposed rule to clarify and simplify the standards under which the Federal Reserve Board determines that one company controls a banking organization or another company. Our post on the April 2019 proposal may be accessed here. The final rule will be … Continue Reading

US Financial Stability Oversight Council finalizes its guidance on assessing systemic risk

On January 29, 2020, the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC)’s finalization of its guidance on how it would assess risks to the US financial system became effective. The Final Guidance, as did the proposed guidance, now focuses on an activities-based approach to assessing such risk, rather than focusing on identifying specific systemically important financial institutions … Continue Reading

“Crypto Mom” Proposes 3-Year Safe Harbor for Token Projects

In a speech to the International Blockchain Congress on February 6, 2020, Securities and Exchange (“SEC”) Commissioner Hester Peirce, sometime referred to as “Crypto Mom,” proposed a three-year safe harbor for virtual currency token projects.  The safe harbor would exempt (i) the offer and sale of tokens from the provisions of the Securities Act of … Continue Reading

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

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 with SEC and FINRA enforcement proceedings and other contentious regulatory inquiries, purchases and sales, and the preparation … Continue Reading

The LIBOR Transition – SFA Survey on Potential LIBOR Transition Solutions for Securitization Market Legacy Vehicles and Instruments

Following up on our past posts, in this update on the transition away from LIBOR (London Interbank Offering Rate), and other interbank offering rates (“IBOR”) denominated in other currencies, we discuss a Structured Finance Association (“SFA”) survey with respect to potential LIBOR transition solutions in the securitization industry. The SFA is group of structured finance … Continue Reading

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Observations on Cybersecurity and Resiliency

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) shared observations from “thousands” of examinations on industry practices and approaches to managing and combating cybersecurity risk and the maintenance and enhancement of operational resiliency (the “Report”). The Report organizes its observations under seven categories consisting of: governance and risk management access … Continue Reading

FINRA issues its 2020 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

Earlier this month, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) released its annual Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter (“Priorities Letter”). This year’s letter includes several new features that are intended to “support” firms in their “significant efforts” to comply with applicable rules. Specifically, each highlighted topic includes a list of practical considerations and questions … Continue Reading

United States imposes additional Iranian sanctions

On January 10, 2020, the United States (US) imposed economic sanctions on: Iranian sectors that previously had not been specifically targeted, namely the construction, mining, manufacturing and textile sectors; Certain Iranian regime officials; Iran’s largest companies operating in the steel, iron, aluminum, and copper sectors ; and Non-Iranian entities for trade in Iranian metals. Norton … Continue Reading

SEC Issues FAQ on Regulation “Best Interest”

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets published responses to frequently asked questions that it has received on Regulation Best Interest (the “Reg. BI FAQ”). Regulation Best Interest (Securities Exchange Act Rule 15l-1) becomes effective June 30, 2020, and imposes a number of obligations on broker-dealers and natural persons associated with … Continue Reading

A Broker-Dealer Perspective on OCIE’s 2020 Examination Priorities

Recently, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its annual Examination Priorities report (the “Priorities Report”). As the name suggests, the Priorities Report outlines OCIE’s examination priorities for the coming year and is a must read for all registrants overseen by OCIE, including broker-dealers, registered advisers, municipal advisors, transfer … Continue Reading
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