Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

SEC Commissioner Piwowar Speaks at Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference

Posted in SEC/Corporate

On November 16, Securities and Exchange Commissioner Michael Piwowar addressed the 34th Annual Current Financial Reporting Issues Conference in New York to share his views on the current and future state of financial reporting. Commissioner Piwowar focused his remarks on three areas: (1) the future role of international financial reporting standards (IFRS) for financial statements filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission; (2) improving the quality of interactive data filed in reports with the SEC; and (3) the SEC’s efforts to improve corporate disclosures and his personal concerns that special interests have “corrupted the disclosure process to the detriment of investors.”  Continue Reading

SEC Proposes Rules to Enhance Transparency and Oversight of Alternative Trading Systems

Posted in Broker-Dealer

On November 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a rule to enhance operational transparency and regulatory oversight of alternative trading systems (ATSs) that trade stocks listed on a national securities exchange (NMS stocks), including “dark pools.” If adopted, the rule would require NMS Stock ATSs to publicly disclose, on new Form  ATS-N, detailed information about the operations and activities of a broker-dealer operator and its affiliates. Continue Reading

CFTC To Hold an Open Commission Meeting on Automated Trading

Posted in CFTC

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that it will hold an open meeting on Tuesday, November 24 at 9:00 a.m. (ET) to consider a proposal on automated trading. Among other provisions, the proposed rules are expected to set requirements with regard to the design, testing and supervision of automated trading systems, both high-frequency and low-frequency. In a speech earlier this week, CFTC Chairman Timothy Massad indicated that the CFTC also is considering whether to require proprietary trading firms that use automated trading systems and access exchange markets directly to register with the CFTC.  Continue Reading

CFTC Releases Preliminary Report on the Swap Dealer De Minimis Exception

Posted in CFTC, Derivatives, Dodd-Frank Developments

On November 18, staff from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight and Office of the Chief Economist issued a preliminary report regarding the swap dealer de minimis exception under the CFTC rules defining “swap dealer.” Continue Reading

Anti-Money Laundering Update: HM Treasury Advisory Notice on Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Controls

Posted in UK Developments

On November 12, HM Treasury published an advisory note on money laundering and terrorist financing controls in jurisdictions outside the European Union. The advisory note identifies that on October 23, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) published two statements identifying those jurisdictions that the FATF deems to have “strategic deficiencies” in their anti-money laundering and counter terrorist financing regimes. The HM Treasury advisory note may be seen as an explicit acknowledgement of and support for the FATF’s statements. Continue Reading

FCA Enforcement: Recent Action Against Former Investment Analyst for “Cherry Picking”

Posted in UK Developments

On November 17, the UK Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) published its final notice addressed to Mothahir Miah, a former investment analyst at a large UK institutional asset manager, fining him £139,000 and banning him from performing any function in relation to any regulated activity in the United Kingdom for at least five years. In its investigation of Mr. Miah’s trading activities leading up to the issuance of the final notice, the FCA found that Mr. Miah had failed to satisfy the FCA’s approved persons “Statement of Principle and Code of Practice for Approved Persons” (APER). In particular, Mr. Miah failed to satisfy Statement of Principle 1, which mandates that any approved person must act with integrity in carrying out his accountable functions. The FCA found that Mr. Miah had failed to act with integrity and consequently has been deemed a person who is not fit and proper to act in a function relating to a regulated activity in the UK financial services industry. Continue Reading

ESMA Publishes MiFID II Delay Analysis

Posted in EU Developments

As discussed in last week’s Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest, on November 18, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a note relating to delays in the “go-live date” of certain Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) provisions. The note was published at the request of members of the European Parliament and expands upon the analysis currently being undertaken at the European Commission (EC), European Parliament and European Council of Ministers as to whether or not MiFID II implementaiton should be delayed.  Continue Reading

ESMA Issues Public Statement on Collateralization of Bank Guarantees for Energy Derivatives

Posted in Derivatives, EU Developments

On November 19, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) issued a public statement (Public Statement) regarding its decision not to extend the current three year grace period which permits non-financial firms to use bank guarantees that are not collateralized for their energy derivatives transactions that are cleared by European central counterparties (CCPs). As of March 15, 2016, all CCPs authorized under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) will be required to fully collateralize commercial bank guarantees that cover transactions in derivatives relating to electricity or natural gas. Continue Reading