On August 8, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed amendments to modernize the required disclosures under Regulation S-K regarding a company’s business description, legal proceedings and risk factors (the Proposal). The Proposal is part of the Staff’s disclosure effectiveness initiative to improve its disclosure regime for investors and registrants. The Proposal would implement a more principles-based approach with respect to the disclosure rules relating to the registrant’s business description and risk factors. The SEC notes that its aim for using such an approach, as opposed to prescriptive requirements, would be to “elicit more relevant disclosures” about the items because the current requirements “may not reflect what is material to every business.” The following are key elements of the proposed amendments. Continue Reading SEC Proposes to Modernize Business, Legal Proceedings and Risk Factor Disclosures Required by Regulation S-K

On July 29, the European Commission (EC) published a communication on equivalence in the area of financial services (Communication). The EC states that, in light of recent policy developments, it is timely to take stock of the EU’s approach to equivalence.

The Communication discusses the purpose and importance of equivalence. The EC states that each new decision is looked at individually and in detail to ensure that the policies of third countries are compatible with those of the EU, and that any equivalence determination is beneficial to, and sustainable for, both parties.EU financial services law includes approximately 40 provisions that allow the EC to adopt equivalence decisions and as of July 29, the EC has adopted more than 280 equivalence decisions for more than 30 countries. Continue Reading European Commission Publishes Communication on Its Equivalence Policy With Non-EU Countries

On August 7, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 19-26, reminding members of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) adoption of a “best interest” standard of conduct for broker-dealers and a relationship summary (Form CRS) delivery obligation.

Continue Reading FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice Reminding Members of the SEC’s Adoption of a Best Interest Standard of Conduct

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is proposing to amend its Rule 5130 and Rule 5131 to ease certain restrictions on initial equity public offerings and new issue allocations and distributions.

Continue Reading FINRA Proposes to Ease Restrictions on Initial Equity Public Offerings and New Issues

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is proposing to expand TRACE reporting requirements to include transactions in U.S. dollar-denominated foreign sovereign debt securities. Under the proposal, this transaction information would be reported for regulatory purposes and would not be publicly disseminated.

Comments on the proposal must be submitted to FINRA by September 24, 2019.

More information is available here.

On August 1, 2019, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued a letter extending prior no-action relief, which suspended the need for certain persons otherwise required to aggregate positions to proactively file formal written notice for position limits purposes. The prior relief, CFTC No Action Letter 17-37, was set to expire on August 12, 2019. Continue Reading CFTC’s Division of Market Oversight Extends No-Action Relief from Position Aggregation Requirements

CBOE Exchange, Inc. (CBOE) recently filed a proposal to amend its Rule 6.49A to amend provisions related to permissible off-floor position transfers. Generally, CBOE Rule 6.49A(a) specifies limited circumstances in which CBOE Trading Permit Holders (TPHs) may transfer their positions off the floor. CBOE proposes to add four events where an off-floor transfer would be permitted to occur. Continue Reading CBOE Proposes Amendments to Rule 6.49A Concerning Off-Floor Position Transfers Including RWA Transfers

On July 23, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) published a revised framework for mandatory initial margin applicable to swaps that are not cleared with a central clearing party. The key revision was the insertion of an additional year into the implementation schedule for the margin rules. Continue Reading Delay of Final Implementation of Swap Initial Margin Rules