Search Results: Regulatory Exemptions and Relief

FINRA Proposes Remote Inspection Pilot Program

FINRA recently proposed amendments to FINRA Rule 3110 (Supervision) to adopt a voluntary, three-year pilot program (Pilot Program) to allow member firms to conduct remote branch office inspections.  In a nod to where things have headed since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic (WFH and such), providing firms with the…

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SEC Proposes Amendments to Exchange Act Rule 15b9-1—Is FINRA Taking Over the Lease at 100 F Street NE?

Back in April 2022, we wrote about the SEC killing the Dealer/Trader distinction.  We also noted then that it would come as no surprise to see the SEC re-propose amendments to Exchange Act Rule 15b9-1.  Just a few months later, the SEC has done just that. Rule 15b9-1 currently exempts…

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SEC Examinations Division Publishes 2022 Priorities

The SEC Division of Examinations recently published its list of priorities for 2022.  While it was a bit late compared to a typical year, the priorities letter provides a roadmap for firms to better understand where the Division will take its examination efforts over the coming months. Significant focus areas…

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Ding, Dong! The Dealer/Trader Distinction is Dead. HFTs and DEX AMMs Should Take Notice

The SEC recently proposed rules that would greatly expand the Exchange Act definition of “dealer” and essentially kill the existing dealer/trader distinction long-recognized by the SEC.  The likely outcome is that most proprietary trading firms will need to register with the SEC as dealers and become members of FINRA or…

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SEC Proposes Rules that Could Regulate DeFi, Extend to Aspects of Centralized Crypto Exchanges

Here is a link to our client alert addressing the SEC’s proposed change to the “exchange” definition, including introduction of the new term “communication protocol system.” There were zero references to crypto, blockchain, DeFi, or distributed ledger technology in the 654-page proposal. Nevertheless, the proposal makes clear that it applies…

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FINRA Extends the Registration Qualification Window from Two to Five Years After Termination

Persons registered with a broker-dealer historically have had two years from their Form U5 filing date to re-register with another firm before their prior qualifications (examinations) would lapse.  Our recent Client Alert  discusses a FINRA rule change that extends this to five years under certain circumstances.

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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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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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