SEC Division of Trading and Markets

On March 19, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) released Regulatory Notice 19-08 to provide guidance to members for reporting lease assets and liabilities on their FOCUS reports. FINRA’s notice follows an October 2018 No-Action Letter (the No-Action Letter) in which the staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets (the Staff) addressed the treatment of operating leases under Securities Exchange Act Rule 15c3-1 in connection with the Financial Accounting Standards Board’s Accounting Standards Update for Leases.
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On May 22, Brett Redfearn, the Director of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Division of Trading and Markets spoke at the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s Annual Conference regarding the newly proposed Regulation Best Interest. (For a more complete discussion of Regulation Best Interest, please refer to Katten’s “SEC Proposes Fiduciary Rule for Broker-Dealers” advisory, available here.) Director Redfearn noted that he views Regulation Best Interest as a “significant change from the status quo for broker-dealers that provide advice” that builds upon current regulations. He further noted that Regulation Best Interest tries to achieve two goals: (1) enhancing the quality of broker-dealer recommendations to retail customers; and (2) preserving the “pay as you go” model as a viable choice for investors seeking recommendations about securities.
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