On May 16, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) provided no-action relief for certain non-US persons from counting swaps with international financial institutions, such as the International Monetary Fund, that are incorporated or based in the United States in determining swap dealer and major swap participant status as specified by the CFTC’s definitions.
Continue Reading CFTC Grants Relief to Certain Non-US Persons in Determining Swap Dealer and Major Swap Participant Status

On May 17, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission issued an order to the National Stock Exchange of India (NSE) through its Part 30 exemptive program, which affords regulatory deference to foreign regulatory frameworks and provides US customers greater access to certain foreign futures markets. The order allows NSE’s members to directly accept US customer funds to trade in futures and options contracts on NSE without such members being required to register as futures commission merchants with the CFTC, based on substituted compliance with applicable Indian law and the rules of the NSE.
Continue Reading CFTC Opens Access to Indian Futures Market for US Customers

On April 17, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority issued Regulatory Notice 18-12, which announces that FINRA will collect a total of $8,346,300 to fund the annual budget of the Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) by collecting $2,086,575 from member firms each calendar quarter beginning in April 2018.
Continue Reading FINRA Publishes Regulatory Notice Regarding 2018 GASB Accounting Support Fee

On April 18, the Securities and Exchange Commission proposed a new rule under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, creating a standard of conduct for registered broker-dealers who make recommendations of securities transactions or investment strategies involving securities to a retail customer. The best interest standard requires broker-dealers to act in the best interest of the retail customer at the time a recommendation is made, without placing the interests of the broker-dealer ahead of the interest of the retail customer.
Continue Reading SEC Proposes Best Interest Standard for Broker-Dealers

On February 14, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) published a Regulatory Notice stating that it is updating the Regulatory Extension (REX) system to include increased functionality that will assist FINRA member firms in requesting extensions of time related to FINRA Rule 4210. This will include requests for extensions of time in connection with the margin requirements for Covered Agency Transactions that will become effective on June 25.
Continue Reading FINRA Issues Regulatory Notice Regarding Extension of Time Requests Relating to FINRA Rule 4210

On January 18, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued a Notice to inform commodity pool operators that two additional questions concerning virtual currency activities have been added to the cover page of the annual pool financial statement. The changes are effective for financial statements as of October 31, 2017 or later.

NFA’s Notice I-18-03 is

On September 26, Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Chairman Jay Clayton testified before the Senate Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs Committee on the “Oversight of the US Securities and Exchange Commission.” Highlights of his testimony included the following:
Continue Reading SEC Chairman Testifies Before Senate Banking Committee

On September 19, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) took action to delay until June 25, 2018, the implementation of margin requirements for Covered Agency Transactions under FINRA Rule 4210. As defined in the amendments to FINRA Rule 4210, adopted in 2016, Covered Agency Transactions include (1) To Be Announced (TBA) transactions, inclusive of adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) transactions; (2) Specified Pool Transactions; and (3) transactions in Collateralized Mortgage Obligations (CMOs) issued in conformity with a program of an agency or Government Sponsored Enterprise (GSE), with forward settlement dates.
Continue Reading FINRA Delays Rule 4210 Margining of Covered Agency Transactions to June 2018

On August 7, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a Risk Alert summarizing observations of its second round of cybersecurity focused examinations (Cybersecurity 2 Initiative) to assess financial services firms’ practices and legal and compliance issues related to cybersecurity preparedness. The Cybersecurity 2 Initiative is built upon OCIE’s

The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Investment Management (Staff) has issued an Information Update regarding the SEC’s recently adopted amendments to Form ADV, which will go into effect on October 1. After this date, any adviser filing an initial Form ADV or an amendment to an existing Form ADV must provide