On March 31, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice I-21-14 advising member firms that are registered with the Commodity Futures Trading Commission as swap dealers (SDs), that NFA rules adopting minimum capital and financial reporting requirements will become effective October 6.
Continue Reading NFA Issues Notice Regarding Effective Date of NFA’s Swap Dealer Capital Requirements

In response to a recent request by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Securities and Exchange Commission has issued an order (the Order) designed to ease potential burdens that smaller broker-dealers may face in obtaining audit services. Rule 17a-5(d)(1)(i) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (Exchange Act) requires that, unless a broker meets

Effective February 24, and in response to the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) is providing an interim accommodation to allow candidates to take additional FINRA exams online, including the Series 24, Series 57, Series 79 and Series 99 exams. An interim accommodation request is not required for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6 or Series 7 exams, which have been available online for all candidates since mid-July 2020.
Continue Reading FINRA Provides Additional FINRA Exams Online

Pursuant to a Securities and Exchange Commission order, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) established an accounting support fee to fund the annual budget of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB). Each quarter, FINRA collects a quarter of the annual GASB accounting support fee from its member firms. Each member firm’s assessment is based on

On October 23, Chairman Jay Clayton of the Securities and Exchange Commission and Chairman Heath P. Tarbert of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a joint letter creating a one-year pilot program to formalize the practices between the Chairmen relating to CFTC orders that implicate the “bad actor” disqualification provisions of Regulations A and D under the Securities Act of 1933 (the SEC Disqualification Rules). Under the SEC Disqualification Rules, individuals or firms are disqualified from relying on certain exemptions from registration for securities offerings if certain triggering events occur, such as certain securities law violations or final orders issued by the CFTC in connection with certain enforcement proceedings.
Continue Reading SEC and CFTC Chairman Issue Joint Letter Regarding CFTC Orders Implicating Regulations A and D

On October 27, the Chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued a public directive to clarify the CFTC’s use of staff letters and guidance. In his remarks, Chairman Tarbert highlighted the purpose and binding nature of no-action letters, interpretive letters, staff guidance (including advisories and FAQs) and exemptive letters. Specifically:
Continue Reading CFTC Chairman Tarbert Issues Statement on the Use of Staff Letters and Guidance

On October 29, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission announced that the Division of Enforcement (Division) issued new guidance for its staff related to the recognition of a registrant’s self-reporting, cooperation or remediation in CFTC enforcement orders. The Division has not changed its existing process of how the enforcement staff will consider reductions in penalties in