United States

Topic: Regulation and compliance

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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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Access the July 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 … Continue Reading

US Banking Regulators Finalize Volcker Rule Covered Funds Revision

On July 31, 2020, the Federal Register published the final Volcker Rule covered funds amendments promulgated in June by the federal financial services regulators (the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission). In her latest … Continue Reading

OCC issues groundbreaking interpretive letter on cryptocurrency custody services

On July 22, 2020, the US Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) issued an interpretive letter concluding that national banks and federal savings associations have the authority to provide cryptocurrency custody services for customers. The letter, which uses the term “cryptocurrency” to encompass digital currencies, virtual currencies, and “digital assets that are not … Continue Reading

The LIBOR Transition — US banking regulators caution banks on LIBOR transition risks

As noted in previous LIBOR Transition posts, the availability of LIBOR as a reference rate is not guaranteed beyond the end of 2021. On July 1, 2020, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), which consists of US federal and state banking regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, issued a Joint Statement highlighting the … Continue Reading

FINRA issues guidance on retail communications relating to private placements

On July 1, 2020, FINRA issued guidance to member firms on compliance with FINRA Rule 2210 (“Rule 2210”)) on the marketing of private placements to retail investors. These private placements are typically conducted under Rules 504, 506(b) or 506(c) of Regulation D under the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, as “safe harbors” that permit … Continue Reading

SEC Proposes Amendments to Increase Reporting Threshold for Institutional Investment Managers

On July 10, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) proposed amendments to amend Form 13F to update the reporting threshold for institutional investment managers and certain other changes. This marks the first time that the reporting threshold would be updated since its introduction more than 40 years ago. Pursuant to Section 13(f) of the … Continue Reading

FSB report : Financial stability implications and policy measures taken

On 15 July 2020, the Financial Stability Board (FSB) published a report that provides an update on financial stability developments and risks relating to COVID-19, the policy actions taken to date and how they relate to the FSB principles, the factors that affect the effectiveness of policies and their implementation and the way forward. The … Continue Reading

Last chance to take part – Global operational resilience survey

Operational resilience, which has risen to increased prominence over recent years, has been brought into even sharper focus following the outbreak of COVID-19. Our risk consulting team is carrying out a survey to explore how financial institutions are managing their crisis response planning and preparedness in the event of severe operational disruption, particularly leading up … 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 … Continue Reading

European Commission’s High-Level Forum on Capital Markets Union issues final report

On June 10, 2020, the European Commission’s High-Level Forum (HLF) issued its final report on the Capital Markets Union (CMU), which proposes detailed recommendations for improving and enhancing the capital markets of the European Union (EU). The report’s 17 recommendations are grouped under four larger themes: (i) creating a vibrant and competitive business environment; (ii) … Continue Reading

Doing business in the EU after the transition period

We have updated our popular client briefing note ‘Doing business in the EU’ covering the temporary transitional relief measures EU27 Member States are implementing, if any, for the period after the transition period should the UK/EU not enter into a free trade agreement. For a copy of the updated briefing note please contact Simon Lovegrove.… Continue Reading

The LIBOR Transition — CFPB addresses elimination of LIBOR in consumer credit transactions

LIBOR is used as a component of an interest or finance charge in consumer transactions as well as the commercial transactions we have discussed in prior LIBOR Transition posts. On June 4, 2020, the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), issued a proposed rule that would amend US consumer credit regulations to address the pending … Continue Reading
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