Category Archives: Compliance

Securities: Top Five Unclaimed Property Issues

While securities have long been a hot spot for unclaimed property issues, the past several years have seen a continued expansion of audit activity targeting broker-dealers, stock issuers, transfer agents, mutual funds, banks, and others in the financial services industry. Unclaimed property laws—and unclaimed property audits—can present a number of specific challenges in this space.

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Additional contributors to this post:

Holly H. Smithhollysmith@eversheds-sutherland.com

Mary Jane Wilson-Bilikmjwilson-bilik@eversheds-sutherland.com

 

 

Fourth Set of FAQs from DOL on Fiduciary Rule

On August 3, 2017, the Department of Labor released a fourth set of FAQs related to its new “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions, which became applicable on June 9. Like the May FAQs, the three new FAQs are positioned as transition period guidance, although their content is not so limited.

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Additional contributor to this post:

W. Mark Smithmarksmith@eversheds-sutherland.com

 

A Record-Breaking Year for FINRA in 2016; What May Come in 2017?

2016 will be remembered as an historic year: the Olympics, the Chicago-Cleveland World Series, and the presidential election. In the regulatory world of FINRA, there was also an historic year as FINRA continued its trend of ordering significant fines, shattering its
previous record set in 2014. If firms and their representatives were not paying attention to this trend, they should be now. Although some have speculated about a reduction in the SEC’s Enforcement program with the new administration, FINRA shows no signs of slowing down. By analyzing FINRA’s 2016 sanctions and cases, including the issues that resulted in the most significant fines and emerging enforcement trends, what predictions can we make about key issues for FINRA for 2017 and beyond?

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Additional contributor to this post:

Brian L. Rubinbrianrubin@eversheds-sutherland.com

FINRA Holds Regulator Forum on Distributed Ledger Technology

FINRA recently held a Blockchain Symposium which included a Regulator Forum with representatives from FINRA, OCC, CFTC, the Federal Reserve  and the SEC.  The regulators discussed the work they have undertaken to assess the use of DLT in the financial services industry, and the regulatory considerations associated with potential uses of DLT. The Symposium follows FINRA’s publication of a report earlier this year discussing the implications of DLT for the securities industry and soliciting comments from market participants.

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Additional contributor to this post:

Issa J. Hanna,  issahanna@eversheds-sutherland.com

The Final Rule: The Fifth Request for Public Comments

On June 29, 2017, the Department of Labor released a request for information, seeking public comments yet again on its new “investment advice” fiduciary definition and related exemptions which became applicable on June 9.

  • This is the fifth request for public comments under the Administrative Procedure Act since DOL undertook this rulemaking in October 2010, and the second in the last four months.
  • There could be a sixth iteration later this year, in connection with any proposed changes to the Final Rule and/or delay of the January 1, 2018, date for compliance with the full conditions of the Best Interest Contract Exemption, the Principal Transaction Exemption and PTE 84-24.
  • In addition, on June 1, US Securities and Exchange Commission Chair Jay Clayton issued a statement requesting comments on the standard of conduct under the securities laws that should be applicable to investment advisers and broker-dealers serving retail investors, which includes retirement investors.

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Additional contributor to this post:

W. Mark Smithmarksmith@eversheds-sutherland.com