FINRA’s Engagement Initiative

FINRA’s March 2017 announcement of its engagement initiative provides an opportunity for the industry to consider FINRA’s activities on a much broader level.

FINRA’s special notice reflects its previously announced plans to examine its rules and procedures based on its interaction with the industry.  For example, in his cover letter to FINRA’s 2017 examination priorities letter, Robert Cook, FINRA’s President and CEO, discussed his “never ending” listening tour of the industry.

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Additional contributor to this post:

Lloyd S. Harmetzlharmetz@mofo.com

 

DOL Provides Temporary Enforcement Relief on Fiduciary Rule


The DOL issued a Field Assistance Bulletin (FAB 2017-01) on Friday, March 10, 2017 to address near-term compliance concerns relating to a proposed 60-day delay of the Fiduciary Rule. As previously reported, the DOL issued a proposal on March 2, 2017 to delay the April 10, 2017 implementation date of the Fiduciary Rule by 60 days. This 60-day delay is not yet final, however, and there has been confusion over what will happen if a decision on the delay is not made until after April 10 or if a decision is made too close to the implementation date to allow time for compliance. Although the DOL has stated that it intends to issue its decision before April 10, it issued the Bulletin to announce a temporary enforcement policy which provides certain limited enforcement relief.

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BICE on Ice? Status of the DOL Fiduciary Rule

With recent developments in all three branches of government bearing on the authority and timing of the new DOL final rule expanding the definition of fiduciary “investment advice” for purposes of ERISA, the already formidable challenges for plan sponsors and retirement product and service providers have been made more difficult.

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Additional contributor to this post:

W. Mark Smithmarksmith@eversheds-sutherland.com

 

FINRA Focus: What Happened With Restitution in 2016?

Evershed Sutherland’s annual analysis of FINRA’s  disciplinary actions indicates that FINRA fined firms and individuals a record-setting $176 million in 2016.. In addition, it ordered $28 million in restitution in 2016.

But. . .

  • How did 2016 compare to previous years, including 2015’s record-breaking year?
  • What types of cases triggered orders of restitution from FINRA in 2016?
  • What should firms expect in 2017?

View the analysis here

Additional contributor to this post:

Brian L. Rubinbrianrubin@eversheds-sutherland.com

FINRA Rule 5110 — Should it be Modernized?

On March 8, 2017, FINRA’s Board of Governors will meet to discuss certain proposed rulemaking considerations, including proposals to streamline and modernize FINRA Rule 5110 (Corporate Financing Rule – Underwriting Terms and Arrangements).  FINRA Rule 5110 governs member firm participation in the public offering of securities, and imposes certain filing requirements and related compensation restrictions for members participating in a public securities offering.  Upon approval from FINRA’s Board of Governors, any formal proposal will still need to be published for comment to FINRA member firms (typically through a “Regulatory Notice” filing) and also published for review and approval by the SEC.