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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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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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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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FINRA Issues Guidance on Net Capital Treatment of PPP Loans under the CARES Act

April 17, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, David L. Ward

In its online forum regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus, FINRA has issued guidance related to PPP loans.
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On the heels of codifying 940 CMR 35.00, the “Unfair and Deceptive Debt Collection Practices During the State of Emergency Caused by COVID-19” (the “Emergency Regulations”), Attorney General Maura Healey issued guidance on April 3, 2020 “to provide clarity with regard to frequently asked questions concerning the Emergency Regulations[.]”
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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 March 27, 2020, the Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healy, filed an emergency regulation, aimed at what the office described as “prevent[ing] debt collectors and creditors from harassing our residents.”
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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 (OCIE) Issues Risk Alerts Concerning Reg. BI

April 9, 2020 | Blog | By David L. Ward

The SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspection and Examinations (OCIE) issued two risk alerts relating to Regulation Best Interest (Reg. BI).
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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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State Securities Regulators Adapt in Response to COVID-19

April 3, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore

As financial professionals struggle to adapt during these trying times, securities regulators are also revising their processes and procedures to address the current realities of investor protection in the time of COVID-19 while being fair to the regulated entities.
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Material Non-Public Information in the Time of COVID-19: SEC Warning on Insider Trading

March 30, 2020 | Blog | By Pete Michaels, Michael Pastore

On March 23, 2020 the SEC issued a statement warning about the risks of insider trading posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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India Orders Shutdown Impacting Millions of Outsourced Technology and Financial Sector Workers

March 26, 2020 | Alert | By Julie Korostoff, Meredith M. Leary, Laura A. Stacey

This alert discusses what companies outsourcing critical business process functions to India should do in light of the Indian government’s order that telecom, IT, and other technology companies should, as far as possible, work from home.
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On March 23, 2020, the New York Senate proposed legislation that would forever waive rent payment obligations and mortgage payment obligations due from certain residential tenants and small business commercial tenants for 90 days in 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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This alert outlines the conditions set forth in the DSIO and DMO’s no-action letters providing temporary relief to market participants facing COVID-19–related challenges.
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Regulatory Update for NFA and FINRA Member Firms — COVID-19

March 18, 2020 | Alert | By Therese Doherty, Kara M. Cormier, Jason Burrell

This alert from the Mintz Financial Services Practice reviews the recent relief and guidance provided for NFA and FINRA member firms related to challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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