On August 20, the staff of the Division of Corporation Finance (the staff) of the Securities and Exchange Commission released several new Compliance and Disclosure Interpretations (C&DIs) relating to interactive data/eXtensible Business Reporting Language (XBRL), with a focus on items relating to Inline XBRL format requirements. Continue Reading SEC Division of Corporation Finance Issues C&DIs Regarding Inline XBRL

Investment Advisers

On August 21, by a vote of 3 to 2, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued interpretive guidance on an investment adviser’s fiduciary duties with respect to voting of proxies for client accounts. The guidance makes clear that advisers may agree with their clients that the client, and not the adviser, will vote proxies, but such guidance is generally impractical for advisers to private funds and registered investment companies (because there is no practical way to assign voting power to the funds). Continue Reading SEC Issues New Guidance Regarding Proxy Voting Responsibility of Investment Advisers and the Applicability of Proxy Rules to Proxy Voting Advice

On August 20, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced it had charged Florida-based TherapeuticsMD Inc. with Regulation FD violations stemming from alleged sharing of material non-public information with research analysts without also publicly disclosing the information, in what appears to be the first such Regulation FD enforcement case brought by the SEC in the last six years. Continue Reading SEC Announced Charges for Regulation FD Violations

On August 20, the Board of Directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) approved their version of a set of amendments intended to simplify some of the requirements of the regulations implementing Section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 (the “Volcker Rule”), which was enacted as Section 619 of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. The Volcker Rule generally prohibits banking entities from engaging in proprietary trading and from owning or controlling hedge funds or private equity funds subject to numerous qualifications and exemptions set forth in the Volcker Rule regulations, which are identical sets of rules adopted by each of the Volcker Rule regulators (the FDIC, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC), the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve), the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC), and the Securities and Exchange Commission). These final amendments incorporate the responses of the Volcker Rule regulators to the numerous comments they received when they initially proposed a set of amendments in 2018. Continue Reading FDIC Approves Amendments to the Volcker Rule

On August 20, the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) published a letter written jointly with the European Banking Authority (EBA) and addressed to the European Commission (EC) relating to cryptoassets. The letter responds to a letter from the Commission dated July 19.

The letter begins by welcoming the EC’s work responding to issues identified in the January 2019 reports by ESMA and the EBA on cryptoassets and initial coin offerings (for more information, see the January 11, 2019 edition of Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest). ESMA and the EBA agree that it is vital that further work progresses urgently to inform any actions taken by the new EC. Continue Reading ESMA and EBA Respond to Letter From European Commission on Cryptoassets Work

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.