On February 16, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued an Information Notice (Notice) regarding a new fee rate applicable to specified securities transactions on the exchanges and in the over-the-counter markets. Such fee rate will decrease from its current rate of $22.10 per million dollars in transactions to a new rate of $5.10 per million dollars in transactions.
Continue Reading New Rate for Fees Paid Under Section 31 of the Exchange Act

On February 15, the Council of the European Union (the Council) published a press release announcing the adoption of a “quick fix” amendment to the revised Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID II) in response to the economic impact caused by the COVID-19 pandemic (the Amendment).

The key changes to MiFID II in the Amendment include:
Continue Reading MiFID II “Quick Fix” Adopted in Response to COVID-19

On February 10, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) issued Regulatory Notice 21-03 (the Notice) urging member firms to review their policies and procedures with respect to red flags of potential securities fraud involving low-priced securities.
Continue Reading FINRA Releases Regulatory Notice on Policies and Procedures Relating to Fraud Involving Low-Priced Securities

On February 4, the Securities and Exchange Commission published a request for public comment (Comment Request) on potential reform measures to improve the resilience of money market funds, as highlighted in a report of the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets issued in December 2020 (Report).
Continue Reading SEC Requests Comment on Potential Money Market Fund Reform Options Highlighted in President’s Working Group Report

HSR Early Terminations Suspended — On February 4, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that it was temporarily suspending the grant of Early Terminations of the 30-day Waiting Period for mergers and acquisitions that require notification under the Hart Scott Rodino Act.
Continue Reading FTC and DOJ Temporarily Suspend Early Termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino Waiting Periods

On January 19, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s Market Participants Division (MPD) and Division of Market Oversight (DMO) issued CFTC Staff Letter No. 21-04 and Letter No. 21-05 (the Staff Letters) to extend, for a limited time, parts of the temporary no-action relief granted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which expired on January 15.
Continue Reading CFTC Staff Provides Limited Continuation of Certain No-Action Relief to Market Participants in Response to COVID-19

On January 19, the National Futures Association (NFA) issued Notice to Members 1-21-03, announcing that remote online testing is now available for futures industry proficiency. The exams include Series 3, Series 30, Series 31, Series 32 and Series 34, which FINRA administers on behalf of NFA. Tests also may continue to be taken at a local test center. The availability of remote online testing has not affected NFA’s Swaps Proficiency Requirements.

Continue Reading Remote Online Testing Available for Candidates Seeking to Take Futures Industry Proficiency Examinations