Search Results: Enforcement + Litigation

SEC Penalizes 12 Additional BDs and IAs with CRS Failures

On February 15, 2022, the SEC announced settlements with 12 broker-dealers and investment advisers for failing to satisfy their Form CRS obligations.  These settlements come on the heels of 27 settlements last year for similar violations.  While all settlements included both a failure to timely file and deliver relationship summaries,…

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FINRA Publishes 2022 Examination and Risk Monitoring Report

On February 9, 2022, FINRA published its 2022 Report on its Examination and Risk Monitoring Program, identifying key areas of focus for broker-dealer exams this year.  While each exam is unique to the firm under FINRA’s microscope, the Report provides a general roadmap of FINRA’s core concerns for 2022. FINRA’s…

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tZERO ATS Settlement with SEC: Square Peg/Round Hole or Simple Failure to Follow Existing Rules?

On January 10, 2022, tZERO’s ATS settled a matter with the SEC in which it agreed to an $800,000 fine.  Given the size of the penalty and substantial attention on the SEC’s approach to regulating digital asset securities, readers may have thought that this would present a blockbuster set of…

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SEC Staff Issues Report on “Meme” Stock Events and Market Structure Considerations

The onset of fall signals a sad realization that summer has ended, but also the joy that “market structure” season has arrived for securities industry participants and policy wonks.  Right on cue, in early October, SEC staff issued a report on equity and option market structure conditions related to the…

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SEC Seeks Input on BD and RIA Digital Engagement Practices

The SEC recently solicited public comment on digital engagement practices (DEPs) used by some broker-dealers and investment advisers, including predictive data analytics, differential marketing, and behavioral prompts (such as gamification).  The public comment window closes October 1, 2021.  Comments letters submitted already are available here—viewpoints run the gamut and are…

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SEC Charges 27 Firms with Form CRS Failures

Word to the wise: when a regulator kindly reminds you on multiple occasions that you need to comply with its rules, you should probably heed those warnings.  On July 26, 2021, the SEC announced settlements with 21 investment advisers and 6 broker-dealers that apparently did just the opposite.  In particular,…

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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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