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FinCen Issues Statement Regarding Publication of Suspicious Activity Reports (SARs)

September 3, 2020 | Blog | By Eoin Beirne, Cory S. Flashner, Pete Michaels, Jason Burrell

On September 1, 2020, the Financial Crimes Network (“FinCEN”) issued a statement regarding various media outlets’ intent to publish Suspicious Activity Reports (“SARs”) and “other sensitive government documents”.
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Massachusetts Securities Division Begins Enforcement Of New State Fiduciary Conduct Standard

September 2, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward, Michael Pastore

On September 1, 2020, the Massachusetts Securities Division (“MSD”) began enforcing a new state regulation that holds all broker-dealers and their agents to a fiduciary conduct standard requiring them to “make recommendations and provide investment advice without regard to the financial or any other interest of any party other than the customer”.
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Real Estate, Construction & Infrastructure Viewpoints Thumbnail
The landscape for foreclosures and evictions in New York State is constantly evolving. With the entire State of New York in Phase 4 of New York Forward, the courts have begun to reopen (at least virtually) and certain foreclosure proceedings have resumed. Eviction proceedings remain stayed as against those commercial and residential tenants who demonstrate COVID-related hardship.
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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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SEC Risk Alert Addresses COVID-19 Compliance Risks and Considerations

August 14, 2020 | Blog | By David L. Ward, Jason Burrell

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CFPB Solicits Assistance in Combatting Credit Discrimination

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

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This advisory discusses the SEC’s approval of an NYSE waiver extension that gives NYSE-listed companies through September 30, 2020 to complete certain capital raising transactions.
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Insurance and Financial Services Thumbnail
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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On May 26, 2020, Mayor de Blasio signed into effect N.Y.C. Council Int. No. 1932-A (2020). The law amends NYC administrative code by rendering unenforceable provisions in commercial leases providing for personal guaranties by individuals where the tenant’s business was negatively impacted by COVID-19.
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Bankruptcy & Restructuring Viewpoints Thumbnail
Leveraged loans continue to be a topic of interest in the current environment, particularly when they are pooled and securitized as collateralized loan obligations. A recent decision sheds light on whether and when leveraged loans and similar instruments may be classified as securities and, therefore, be subject to securities laws.
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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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UPDATED: New York State Stays Evictions and Foreclosures Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic

May 22, 2020 | Blog | By Therese Doherty, Alexandra Calistri

Recent Executive Orders by New York Governor Cuomo and Administrative Orders by the New York State courts effectively have stayed the enforcement of residential and commercial evictions and foreclosures in New York through June 20, 2020, and barred the commencement of any such new proceedings until further order of the courts.
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Insurance and Financial Services Thumbnail
The American Securities Association (“ASA”), a financial industry trade association representing regional and small financial services companies, has sued the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) to prevent the SEC from using the Consolidated Audit Trail (the “CAT”) initiative to gather personal data of retail investors.
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Court Puts COVID-19 Emergency Debt Collection Regulations on Ice

May 15, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore

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In what will likely be the first of many, the SEC brought an action against a company for false and misleading press releases related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Insurance and Financial Services Thumbnail
On April 23, 2020, the CFTC announced a targeted no-action relief to certain market participants from compliance with net capital treatment of covered loans received under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act).
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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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