Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Corporate & Financial Weekly Digest

Category Archives: Broker-Dealer

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FINRA Requests Comment on Proposed Pilot Program to Study Changes to Corporate Bond Block Trade Dissemination

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 12, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published a regulatory notice (the “Notice”) requesting comment on a proposed pilot program to study proposed changes regarding corporate bond block trade dissemination based upon recommendations by the Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee (FIMSAC) of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The changes are aimed at… Continue Reading

SEC Approves FINRA Rule Change to Permit the Use of Electronic Signatures for Discretionary Accounts

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Securities and Exchange Commission has approved a proposed rule change to amend Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Rule 4512 (Customer Account Information) (the “Amended Rule”). For discretionary accounts, member firms are currently required to maintain a record of the dated, manual signature of each named, natural person authorized to exercise discretion in such accounts.… Continue Reading

FINRA Proposes Rule Extending the Market-Wide Circuit Breakers in NMS Stocks Pilot Program

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 5, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a proposed rule change to extend the pilot program related to FINRA Rule 6121.02 (Market-wide Circuit Breakers in NMS Stocks), which provides a methodology for determining when to halt trading in all national market system stocks due to extraordinary market… Continue Reading

FINRA Proposes Rule to Adopt the Remaining Legacy NASD and Incorporated NYSE Rules as FINRA Rules

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 8, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a proposed rule change to adopt the remaining National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD) Rules and Incorporated NYSE Rules as FINRA Rules in the Consolidated FINRA Rulebook without any substantive changes. The rule change covers areas such as membership rules,… Continue Reading

FINRA Proposes Rule Extending the Pilot Program Related to Exchange-Listed Securities

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 5, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a proposed rule change to extend the pilot program related to FINRA Rule 11892 (Clearly Erroneous Transactions in Exchange-Listed Securities). In September 2010, the SEC approved, on a pilot basis, changes to the rule that, among other things: (i) provided… Continue Reading

FINRA Announces Updates of the Interpretations of Financial and Operational Rules

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 9, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued Regulatory Notice 19-11 informing member firms that FINRA has updated its Interpretations of Financial and Operational Rules to add a new interpretation related to Rule 15c3-1(c)(2)(viii)(C)/06 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Open Contractual Commitments). The new interpretation relates to the conditions under which an underwriting… Continue Reading

FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice Regarding Departing Registered Representatives

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 5, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued Regulatory Notice 19-10 addressing the responsibilities of member firms when communicating with customers about the departure of registered representatives who have direct contact with customers in the conduct of such member firm’s securities sales. The Notice reinforces two key expectations related to such communications. First, in… Continue Reading

FINRA Proposes Rule Addressing Regulation NMS and Extraordinary Market Volatility

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 11, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a proposed rule change to adopt FINRA Rules 6190 (Compliance with Regulation NMS Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility) and 6121.01 (Resumption of Trading in Securities Subject to the Regulation NMS Plan to Address Extraordinary Market Volatility), which implement the… Continue Reading

FINRA Proposes Rule Making Substantive, Organizational and Terminology Changes to the Corporate Financing Rule

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 11, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a proposed rule change to make certain substantive, organizational and terminology changes to FINRA Rule 5110 (Corporate Financing Rule – Underwriting Terms and Arrangements), which requires member firms that participate in a public offering to file documents and information with… Continue Reading

Nasdaq Proposes Rule Change to SEC to Assume Operational Responsibility for Certain Investigation and Enforcement Functions Currently Performed by FINRA

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On April 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission published a notice to solicit comments on Amendment No. 2 to a proposed rule change filed by the Nasdaq Stock Market LLC, pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. The SEC also approved the proposed rule change, as modified by Amendment No. 2,… Continue Reading

SEC Releases Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets

Posted in Broker-Dealer, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
Recognizing the need for guidance as to the application of US federal securities law for those considering an Initial Coin Offering (ICO), or otherwise engaging in the offer, sale or distribution of a digital asset, the Securities and Exchange Commission released its Framework for “Investment Contract” Analysis of Digital Assets. The Framework represents the views… Continue Reading

SEC Issues TurnKey Jet, Inc. No-Action Letter

Posted in Broker-Dealer, Digital Assets and Virtual Currencies
On April 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Corporate Finance (the “Division”) responded to TurnKey Jet, Inc.’s (TKJ) letter dated April 2, requesting confirmation that the Division would not recommend enforcement action to the SEC in connection with its offer and sale of tokens without registration under the Securities Act of 1933 and… Continue Reading

FINRA Proposes Data Service for Corporate Bond New Issues

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission a proposed rule change to establish a new issue reference data service for corporate bonds. FINRA currently requires underwriters of initial offerings for corporate bonds to submit information relating to the bonds to FINRA under Rule 6760. This information is limited… Continue Reading

FINRA Issues Guidance on FOCUS Reporting for Operating Leases

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On March 19, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) released Regulatory Notice 19-08 to provide guidance to members for reporting lease assets and liabilities on their FOCUS reports. FINRA’s notice follows an October 2018 No-Action Letter (the No-Action Letter) in which the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets… Continue Reading

FINRA Reminds Firms of Obligations Under Rule 15c2-11(a)(4)

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On March 20, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) released Regulatory Notice 19-09, which reminds members of their obligations under Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c2-11 and FINRA Rule 6432 (Compliance with the Information Requirements of Rule 15c2-11). Rule 15c2-11 prohibits a broker-dealer from publishing (or submitting for publication) a quotation in an unlisted security… Continue Reading

FINRA Files Proposed Rule Change to CAB Rules Governing Qualification, Registration and Continuing Education of Associated Persons of CABs

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission a proposed rule change to amend the Capital Acquisition Broker (CAB) Rules governing the qualification, registration and continuing education of associated persons of CABs (CAB Rules 119-125). The proposed rule change reflects new consolidated FINRA qualification and registration rules and changes… Continue Reading

FINRA Requests Comment on Its Rule on Business Continuity Plans and Emergency Contact Information

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) recently released a regulatory notice requesting comment on the effectiveness and efficiency of Rule 4370 (Business Continuity Plans and Emergency Contact Information). The comment period expires April 26. Rule 4370 requires a member firm to create, maintain, annually review and update upon any material change a written business continuity… Continue Reading

Report from FINRA Board of Governors Meeting: Board Approves Rule Proposals, Engages with Boca Raton-Area Firms

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Board of Governors of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) met on February 28 and March 1 in Boca Raton, Florida, where it discussed the organization’s finances, reviewed several significant technology and other capital initiatives, and considered certain rulemaking items.… Continue Reading

SEC Chairman Clayton and Trading and Markets Director Redfearn Call for a Reassessment of Regulation NMS

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On March 8, US Securities and Exchange Commission chairman Jay Clayton and director, Division of Trading and Markets Brett Redfearn gave a speech entitled “Equity Market Structure 2019: Looking Back & Moving Forward.” Chairman Clayton, who noted that their comments were their own and not necessarily those of the SEC or its staff, opined that… Continue Reading

SEC Examines Stock Exchange Pricing

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The US Securities and Exchange Commission has begun looking into whether the current multi-tiered pricing system used by stock exchanges favors large brokers and traders at the expense of small ones. In an effort to increase the volume of trading on an exchange, certain exchange operators (including New York Stock Exchange-owner Intercontinental Exchange Inc., Nasdaq… Continue Reading

FINRA Extends Deadline To Self-Report Violations Under 529 Plan Share Class Initiative

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has extended the deadline for member firms to self-report violations under the 529 Plan Share Class Initiative to April 30. The extension will allow firms to have more time to review their supervisory systems and procedures with respect to their 529 plan transactions. A more detailed discussion of the Plan… Continue Reading

FINRA Working Paper Concludes High Broker-Affiliated ATS Order Routing is Associated with Lower Fill Rates, Higher Transaction Costs

Posted in Broker-Dealer
The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Office of the Chief Economist has released a working paper (Study), maintaining that institutional orders routed by brokers that send a high percentage of such orders through affiliated alternative trading systems (ATSs) tend to receive lower order fill rates and higher execution costs. The Study examined order-handling information over the… Continue Reading

FINRA Issues Information Notice Regarding Suspicious Email Sent to Member Firms

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On February 13, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published an information notice alerting member firms about a suspicious email received by compliance personnel at a number of member firms. The email, sent by a purported BSA-AML compliance officer at a credit union, describes an attempted transfer of money from a firm client that the… Continue Reading

FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice on Effective Date Extension of Margin Requirements for Covered Agency Transactions

Posted in Broker-Dealer
On February 12, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 19-05 (Notice) informing member firms that the effective date for the implementation of the amendments to FINRA Rule 4210 has been postponed. The amendments, which will establish mandatory margin requirements for certain covered agency transactions, will go into effect on March 25, 2020… Continue Reading