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…
July 20, 2015
FINRA Fines Morgan Stanley and Scottrade with Failure to Supervise Transfer of Funds to Third-Party Accounts
On June 19, 2015, FINRA fined Morgan Stanley Smith Barney, LLC (“MSSB”) and Scottrade, Inc. (“Scottrade”) for failing to implement reasonable supervisory systems to monitor the transmittal of customer funds to third-party accounts. Pursuant to NASD Conduct Rules 3012 and 3010, member firms must maintain supervisory control policies sufficient to…
July 7, 2015
SIFMA Proposes “Best Interests of the Customer” Standard for Broker-Dealers
On June 3, 2015, SIFMA proposed a “best interestsof the customer” standard that would apply to broker-dealers and therecommendations issued to any of their individual retail customers about anybrokerage accounts. SIFMA’s proposal wasin response to an April 14, 2015 definition proposal by the Department of Labor(“DOL”) about who is considered a fiduciary under ERISA, and the DOL’s carve-outfrom their proposed definition for broker-dealers who service IRA accounts. SIFMA’sstandard articulates its support for a move toward a uniform “Best Interests ofthe Customer” standard for broker-dealers.
July 6, 2015
FINRA Proposes Changes to Rules Governing Communications with the Public
On April 16, 2015 FINRA announced proposed amendments and revisions to FINRA rules governing communications with the public. The proposed changes are part of a retrospective rule review launched by FINRA in April 2014 and are aimed at better aligning the investor protection benefits and economic impacts of these rules. The proposed amendments revise the filing requirements in FINRA Rules 2210 and 2214 and the content and disclosure requirements in FINRA Rule 2213.
June 12, 2015
FINRA Seeks Comment on Concept Proposal to Restructure Qualification Examination Program
On May 27, 2015, FINRA issued a request for comment on a concept proposal to restructure the current representative-level qualification examination program. In an effort to reduce the content overlap across the representative-level examinations and requirements for individuals in various segments of the industry, the new format would consist of a general knowledge examination (the Securities Industry Essentials Examination, or “SIE”) and an appropriate specialized examination to reflect each particular registered role.
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.
June 5, 2015
FINRA Amendments to Rule 8311 to become effective August 24, 2015
The amendments to FINRA Rule 8311 clarify the scope of the rule on payments by member firms to persons subject to sanctions and eliminate duplicative provisions in NASD IM–2420–2.
June 5, 2015
FINRA Rule on Payments to Unregistered Persons to become effective August 24, 2015
FINRA Rule 2040 consolidates NYSE and NASD rules and NASD guidance on the payment of fees to unregistered persons. The new rule will become effective on August 24, 2015.
May 13, 2015
FINRA Revises Sanction Guidelines
On May 12, 2015 FINRA announced revisions to the Sanction Guidelines. The revisions focus on misrepresentations and suitability. Adjudicators are being urged to consider bars in instances of intentional or reckless fraud and expelling firms where aggravating factors are predominant. Please click here for a link…
October 7, 2014
NYSE GROUP TO REENGAGE ITS SURVEILLANCE, INVESTIGATION AND ENFORCEMENT PROGRAM
On October 6, 2014, the NYSE Group announced that it will not renew its contract with FINRA for the surveillance, investigations and enforcement program related to its exchanges. The contract with FINRA expires on December 31, 2015.