On April 19, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 19-15, addressing the criteria used by FINRA to designate member firms that are required to participate in FINRA’s annual business continuity and disaster recovery (BC/DR) testing.

As required by Securities and Exchange Commission Regulation Systems Compliance and Integrity (Regulation SCI), FINRA adopted Rule 4380 in 2015 requiring member firm participation in BC/DR testing. The rule authorizes FINRA to designate firms that are required to participate in FINRA’s annual BC/DR test based on established standards, which FINRA first published in Regulatory Notice 15-43 and updated in Regulatory Notice 18-09. Regulatory Notice 19-15 consolidates FINRA’s designation criteria, as previously announced in Notices 15-43 and 18-09, without change.
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On April 24, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced the formation of the Office of Financial Innovation, which will serve as a central point of coordination for issues related to significant financial innovations by FINRA member firms, particularly new uses of financial technology. The establishment of the Office of Financial Innovation is designed to enhance FINRA’s ability to identify, understand and foster financial innovation in the markets to strengthen investor protection and market integrity.
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On April 25, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued a report relating to its use of fine monies collected in 2018. FINRA issued $61.0 million in fines, and incurred $81.1 million in fine-eligible expenditures (i.e., capital initiatives, strategic expenditures and other activities eligible to be funded by fine monies based on FINRA’s Financial Guiding Principles) in 2018. Since the total of fine-eligible expenditures exceeded the amount of fines issued in 2018, the balance of $20.1 million was funded from FINRA’s reserves.
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The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced that its Global Markets Advisory Committee (GMAC) will hold a meeting on April 15. The GMAC will hear presentations on how regulators are fulfilling the 2009 G20 directive regarding the OTC derivatives market. Specifically, the GMAC will examine the status of the four key pillars of the original

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced that its Energy and Environmental Markets Advisory Committee (EEMAC) will hold a meeting on April 17. The meeting will focus on the following three topics:

  • derivatives markets’ responses to physical markets’ developments;
  • exchange-traded energy derivatives markets; and
  • the availability of clearing and other services in the energy derivatives

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission will hold a meeting on March 7 at 10:00 a.m. ET, which will be open to the public. The meeting will cover the following topics:

  • Amendment to the Comparability Determination for Japan: Margin Requirements for Uncleared Swaps for Swap Dealers and Major Swap Participants;
  • Comparability Determination for Australia: Margin Requirements

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission has announced that its Technology Advisory Committee (TAC) will hold a meeting on Wednesday, March 27. The meeting will be held in the Conference Center at the CFTC headquarters from 10:00 a.m.–3:30 p.m. ET. Representatives of several TAC subcommittees, including Automated and Modern Trading Markets, Distributed Ledger Technology and Market

On February 13, US Senators Chuck Grassley, Thom Tillis, John Cornyn and Ben Sasse, all members of the Senate Judiciary Committee, introduced legislation requiring disclosure of third-party litigation financing agreements to the court and named parties to (1) any class action lawsuit filed in federal court, and (2) any claim that is aggregated into a federal multi-district litigation proceeding. Currently, the existence and terms of third-party litigation financing agreements, whereby hedge funds and other lenders finance the cost of civil litigation with the expectation of sharing in a portion of any recovery, are rarely disclosed to the court or opposing parties, creating the potential for conflicts of interest.
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