The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) requires that each FINRA member complete an annual verification (the Annual Verification) of their contact information within the first 17 business days of each calendar year, which will be January 27 this year. Annual Verification falls under FINRA Rule 4517, which requires FINRA members to update designated contact information

On December 22, 2020, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed a rule change with the Securities and Exchange Commission that further postpones the implementation of mandatory margin for Covered Agency Transactions under FINRA Rule 4210 until October 26.
Continue Reading FINRA Postpones Implementation of Mandatory Margin for Covered Agency Transactions

On December 23, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a no-action letter regarding family offices and Regulation Best Interest.

Specifically, the SEC staff indicated that the SEC would not treat Institutional Family Offices as “retail customers” for broker dealers for purposes of Regulation Best Interest and broker dealers’ Form CRS. An Institutional Family Office

On December 18, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced the creation of a joint venture among multiple SEC divisions and offices to coordinate roles related to the regulation of security-based swaps (SBS) and provide oversight of entities that will be required to register with the SEC (SBS entities).
Continue Reading SEC Announces New Internal Security-Based Swaps Joint Venture

On December 23, 2020, the Securities and Exchange Commission issued a statement and request for comment relating to custody of digital asset securities by broker-dealers, including certain conditional, time-limited relief for such arrangements. The statement will become effective 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register.
Continue Reading SEC Issues Statement on Custody of Digital Asset Securities by Special Purpose Broker-Dealers

On December 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that it adopted a rule to limit the potential for overlapping or duplicative regulation within its security-based swap regulatory regime. Specifically, the rule exempts certain activities of security-based swap execution facilities (SEFs) and security-based swap dealers from triggering the requirement also to register as a clearing agency. The adopted rule is in line with similar exemptions for broker-dealers and national securities exchanges.
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Clearing Agency Rule to Limit Potential for Overlapping or Duplicative Regulation

On December 16, the Securities and Exchange Commission voted to adopt final rules that will require resource extraction issuers that are required to file reports under Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Exchange Act”) to disclose payments made to the US federal government or foreign governments for the commercial development of oil, natural gas or minerals.
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Final Rules for the Disclosure of Payments by Resource Extraction Issuers

On December 9, the Securities and Exchange Commission adopted final rules that aim to modernize the infrastructure related to the collection, consolidation, and dissemination of market data for exchange-listed national market system stocks (referred to “NMS market data”). These final rules update and expand the content of NMS market data (for example, by adding new data fields and defining existing fields with more granularity) and revise the method by which NMS market data are consolidated and disseminated to make the process more competitive and decentralized. The final rules represent a significant step forward in updating the NMS market data system to keep up with modern market developments, as the rules governing the content of, and the process for sending out, NMS market data has not been materially updated since its implementation in the late 1970s.
Continue Reading SEC Adopts Rules to Modernize Infrastructure for NMS Market Data

On December 3, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that its Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology (FinHub), will migrate from its current position within the Division of Corporate Finance and be designated as a stand-alone office. FinHub will continue to be led by Valerie A. Szczepanik, who will become its first director and will report directly to the SEC Chairman. FinHub leads the SEC’s work in encouraging responsible innovation in the financial sector, including through the use of new technologies and business models. FinHub engages directly with market participants to further these efforts.
Continue Reading SEC Announces Stand-Alone Office Focused on Innovation and Financial Technology