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SPACS and Scams: FINRA Announces New Sweep Exams

July 26, 2021 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

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Substantial AML Reforms Enable Regulators to “Follow the Money”

January 21, 2021 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Cory S. Flashner, Laura E. Martin

On January 1, 2021, Congress enacted the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (the “NDAA”), after overriding a presidential veto. Within the NDAA is the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2020 (the “AMLA”), which introduces substantial reforms to U.S. anti-money laundering (“AML”) and counter-terrorism financing (“CFT”) laws.
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NASAA’s COVID-19 Task Force Uncovers Investment Scams Related to the Pandemic

August 26, 2020 | Blog | By David L. Ward, Jason Burrell

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North America Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) put together a task force in April 2020 specifically targeted to use “online investigative techniques to identify websites and social media posts that may be offering or promoting fraudulent offerings, investment frauds, or improper unregistered regulated activities” which were related to any aspect of COVID-19.
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CFPB Solicits Assistance in Combatting Credit Discrimination

August 11, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore

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FINRA recently issued Regulatory Notice 20-17 (“Reg. Notice 20-17”) addressing changes to FINRA Rule 4530 due to the impending implementation of Regulation Best Interest (“Reg. BI”). Rule 4530 requires member firms to report, among other things, statistical and summary information regarding written customer complaints, as well as specified criminal actions, civil complaints and arbitration claims.
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This article lists five best practices that employers can adopt to improve their compliance efforts and reduce the risk of a substantiated SEC whistleblower complaint.
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FINRA Shares Best Practices by Firms to Supervise in a Remote Work Environment

May 29, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward, Michael Pastore

FINRA, through its most recent Regulatory Notice 20-16 , shares certain common practices they have seen taken by member firms to enhance supervision in the remote work environment due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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FINRA Again Reminds Firms to Beware of Fraud during COVID-19 Pandemic

May 6, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

As we previously discussed, FINRA issued guidance to member firms and their associated persons in April 2020 to remain “vigilant in their surveillance against cyber threats and take steps to reduce the risk of cyber events.”
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FINRA Fines Broker-Dealer for Sharing Customer Data with Third-Party Vendor

April 30, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

Kestra Investment Services LLC (“Kestra”) was fined $125,000 by FINRA for sharing personal customer data with a third-party vendor.
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Due to the economic impact of COVID-19, especially on smaller broker-dealers, FINRA will allow small firms more time to pay their Annual Assessment (comprised of the Gross Income Assessment and the Personal Assessment).
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Because they are working from home and are not able to meet clients face-to-face due to COVID-19 restrictions, many registered representatives are communicating with clients via live audio or video conference meetings.
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In its online forum regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus, FINRA stated that a loan received pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) does not necessarily trigger a disclosure on the Form U-4
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Fed To Add COVID-19 as Essential New Element to Bank Stress Tests

April 13, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

The Federal Reserve (Fed) announced that it is modifying this year's stress test to reflect how banks have performed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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On April 3, 2020, FinCEN issued its second notice related to the COVID-19 pandemic (Notice).
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SEC Says No Reg. BI Extension Despite COVID-19 Concerns

April 6, 2020 | Blog | By David L. Ward

In a Statement on April 2, the Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Jay Clayton, announced that the June 30, 2020 timeline for implementation of Regulation Best Interest (“Reg. BI”) will remain.
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On March 31, 2020, the CFTC extended temporary no-action relief to foreign affiliates of certain futures commission merchants (FCMs) in further response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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This alert covers new DSIO temporary relief to a major insured depository institution (IDI) and commodity pool operators related to COVID-19 as well as temporary relief from the NFA to CPO members.
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