The financial services industry is subject to a regularly changing landscape of regulations and laws, driven in part by shifts in policy from regulators and lawmakers.

Goodwin’s FinReg + Policy Watch provides real-time updates and analyses focusing on regulation and policymaking. Issues are framed in an easy-to-digest manner, providing insight gained from our experience serving in key roles in government and advising clients across the industry.

Follow along as we deliver our take on the latest developments affecting the financial services community as well as the road ahead.

Time’s Up! Broker-Dealers Must Comply with the Customer Protection Rule When Borrowing Customer Securities

On April 16, 2021, the staff of the SEC Division of Trading and Markets reminded broker-dealers borrowing fully paid and excess margin securities from their customers (FPL programs) that they are obligated to comply with Exchange Act Rule 15c3-3 (Customer Protection Rule), and in particular, paragraph (b)(3).  This reminder was…

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UK ICO Confirms Transfers of Data to SEC in the Public Interest

The UK Information Commissioner’s Office (“ICO”) has published a letter sent to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The ICO confirms that it is possible for SEC regulated UK firms to transfer personal data to the U.S. where the transfer is necessary for important reasons of public interest (the derogation in Article…

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CFTC Announces New Climate Risk Unit — the “CRU”

On March 17, 2021, Acting CFTC Chairman Rostin Behnam announced that the derivatives regulator had established a new interdivisional group called the Climate Risk Unit or the “CRU” to focus on the derivatives markets’ role in addressing climate-related risk and transitioning to a low-carbon/net-zero economy.  The CRU (sounds like an…

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SEC Staff Seeks Input on Cross Trading Between Affiliated Funds

On March 11, 2021, the staff of the SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued a statement addressing cross trading among affiliated registered funds and soliciting feedback in this area.  The staff issued the statement in response to public feedback on the SEC’s recent adoption of the “Valuation Rule,” which will…

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DOL Will Not Enforce Its Own ESG Rule, But Fiduciaries Should Not Ignore It

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently announced that it will not enforce its own rule on investment duties under ERISA.  The rule makes it more difficult for investment fiduciaries to consider environmental, social, governance and similar (“ESG”) issues in their decision-making.  The ESG rule was finalized under the Trump administration…

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Climate Clash at the Commission?

A flurry of recent climate-related announcements from the SEC forecasts an upcoming policy battle at the agency.  Acting Chair Allison Herren Lee has signaled that “ESG” will clearly be in focus across the SEC’s various divisions, including Examinations, Corporation Finance, and Enforcement.  Presumptive incoming SEC Chairman Gary Gensler also indicated…

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SEC Enforcement Updates: Interim Director Named; Staff Investigative Powers Bolstered; “Bad Boy” Waivers Less Certain

The past few weeks have ushered in signs of what’s likely to come from the SEC’s Division of Enforcement under the Biden Administration, including a greater number of investigations and a tougher path to “bad boy” waivers for issuers.  The SEC’s enforcement program plays a critical role in the agency’s…

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