October 26, 2017
SEC STAFF RELEASES GUIDANCE FOR U.S. MARKET PARTICIPANTS REGARDING U.S. REGULATED ACTIVITIES AND COMPLIANCE WITH MIFID II
The U.S. regulatory framework has presented challenges to market participants that must also structure their practices to comply with the implementation of Directive 2014/65/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 May 2014 on markets in financial instruments and amending Directive 2002/92/EC and Directive 2011/61/EU ("MiFID II"), which takes effect on January 3, 2018. On October 26, 2017, the staff of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued three related no-action letters that are designed to provide market participants with greater certainty regarding their U.S. regulated activities as they engage in efforts to comply with the MiFID II.
March 28, 2017
Client Alert: SEC Adopts T+2 Settlement Cycle for Securities Transactions
On March 22, 2017, the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) adopted an amendment to Rule 15c6-1(a) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), shortening the standard settlement cycle (i.e., the length of time between trade execution and delivery of cash and securities to the seller and buyer) for…
May 27, 2016
FINRA Proposes Immediately Effective Clarifications to the Debt Research Rule
FINRA proposed amendments (SR-FINRA-2016-017) to the debt research rule (FINRA Rule 2242 – Debt Research Analysts and Debt Research Reports), which addresses conflicts of interest relating to the publication and distribution of debt research reports. The proposed amendments clarify the application of the rule in four respects: (1) The consent requirement for institutional debt research reports distributed to non-U.S. investors by non-U.S. affiliates of broker-dealers; (2) The consent requirement for institutional debt research reports distributed to specified persons for informational purposes unrelated to investing in debt securities; (3) The scope of the institutional debt research report exemption when distributing third-party debt research reports to eligible institutional investors; and (4) The disclosure requirements for debt research analysts in public appearances.
July 20, 2015
SEC Charges Unregistered Brokers in EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
On June 23, 2015, the SEC announced charges against Ireeco LLC and its successor, Ireeco Limited, for acting as unregistered brokers for more than 150 investors in the EB-5 Visa Program, in violation of Section 15(a) of the Exchange Act. The EB-5 Visa Program creates a way for foreign applicants…
June 11, 2015
SEC Charges Brokerage Firm Co-Owners with Defrauding Investors and Falsifying Records
On May 20, 2015, the SEC announced fraud charges against the co-owners of Manhattan-based broker-dealer, Arjent LLC and its UK-based affiliate, Arjent Limited.
September 10, 2014
SEC Charges Wedbush and Two Officials for Market Access Rule Violations
On June 6, 2014, the SEC announced charges against Wedbush Securities Inc. and two of its officials for violating the SEC’s market access rule (Exchange Act Rule 15c3-5). Wedbush Securities, a Los Angeles-based market access provider, was consistently ranked as one of the five largest firms by trading volume on NASDAQ.
July 30, 2014
Revisions to FINRA Rule 5210 to Address Self-Trades
On August 25, 2014, firms must enact policies and procedures to address self-trading from algorithms and trading desks, in accordance with new supplementary material to FINRA Rule 5210. In particular, the firm must reasonably design policies and procedures that pertain to a single algorithm or trade desk (or related algorithms…
July 21, 2014
Sneak Peek at 2015 Exam Priorities
At a recent luncheon with securities industry compliance and legal professionals, the National Associate Director of the SEC’s broker-dealer examination program, Kevin Goodman, reportedly provided a “sneak peek” on areas of focus for the SEC’s upcoming examination priorities for the year 2015.
May 1, 2014
SEC Charges NYSE
On May 1, 2014, the SEC announced an enforcement action against the New York Stock Exchange, two affiliated exchanges and the New York Stock Exchange’s affiliated routing broker, Archipelago Securities. The exchanges and Archipelago Securities are wholly-owned subsidiaries of Intercontinental Exchange Inc. From 2008 to 2012, the exchanges failed to…
April 17, 2014
SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Issues Cybersecurity Preparedness Risk Alert
On April 15, 2014 the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) issued a Risk Alert providing additional information concerning its initiative to assess cybersecurity preparedness in the securities industry.