Financial Regulatory Forum

Social media regulatory guidance for U.S. banks: a road map for the finance industry

By Margaret Paradis, Thomson Reuters Accelus Contributor

NEW YORK, March 15 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The pace of social media usage by the U.S. financial industry has begun to rapidly accelerate. One drag on broader and deeper usage, especially by banks, continues to be uncertainty about regulatory compliance standards. Not all segments of the industry have been moving at the same pace. The broker-dealers and insurance companies have forged ahead in this area, relying on issued regulatory guidance. Additionally, asset management is catching up with the benefit of regulatory guidance issued early in 2012. Banking organizations, however, have been acting without specific guidance in this area, creating an extra risk.

In January 2013, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) addressed this risk by proposing specific guidance for the use of social media by federally supervised banks, and certain nonbank entities (collectively, banks), called Social Media: Consumer Risk Management Guidance (PDF)(more…)

Future higher ethical standards will judge today’s conduct, compliance experts say

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, March 14 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Companies that want to manage their legal and regulatory liability and their reputational capital should treat current standards as the starting point – not the finish line – for their ethics and compliance programs, conference attendees heard Tuesday.

“Your company will be judged in the future by what it does today. Transparency is rapidly increasing, and you don’t know how it will affect your business and reputation,” one of the speakers, Dirk Mohrmann, chief executive officer of World Compliance, told attendees at the 2013 Global Ethics Summit, which was held in New York and was sponsored by Ethisphere and Thomson Reuters. (more…)

IA brief: If you haven’t joined the social media bandwagon, you’re not alone

By Jason Wallace, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Feb. 27 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – Financial planners use social media in their personal lives but shy away from it professionally out of concern over compliance issues and an uncertain regulatory environment, a recent survey reveals.

The survey of 3,500 certified financial planners was conducted by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and released at the end of January It was accompanied by a social media guide for CFP professionals that can be broadly useful to any investment adviser representative, credentialed or not.  (more…)

Compliance is today’s slogan for upcoming law graduates, conference speakers say

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Feb.13 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - ”I just want to say one word to you. Just one word. Are you listening? Plastics,” a business executive told a young Dustin Hoffman in the 1967 movie The Graduate.

Today’s one word of advice to a young lawyer could easily be “compliance,” Brooklyn Law School Dean Nick Allard said Friday in opening a symposium on “The growth and importance of compliance in financial firms: meaning and implications.” (more…)

U.S. financial examiners’ guidelines underline increasing role of social networks

By Bora Yagiz, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Feb. 13 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The guidelines on social media proposed by bank regulators comprising the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC) in January are intended as a basic tool to help financial institutions identify potential trouble areas and address them as part of an overall risk management program.

The council identified potential risks for financial institutions in the areas including deposit insurance, debt collection practices, use of payments systems, equal access for credit, and bank-secrecy anti-money laundering processes.  (more…)

AML again a top priority for broker-dealer exams, FINRA says

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

(Additional reporting by Suzanne Barlyn of Reuters)

NEW YORK, Jan. 17 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Anti-money laundering compliance will again be a focus of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority examinations this year, particularly at broker-dealers with higher-risk business models due to their clients, products and service mix, or locations.

HSBC’s $1.9 billion fine last month highlighted, among other things, the potential AML risks associated with foreign affiliates and the business they transact through their U.S. financial institution affiliates, FINRA said in its 2013 annual regulatory and examination priorities letter(more…)

INTERVIEW: Volcker Rule, derivatives in U.S. business lobby’s sights for new year

By Emmanuel Olaoye, Compliance Complete

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a leader in contesting U.S. regulators’ implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. Lawsuits challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the justification for the rules have stopped some rules in their tracks and forced the regulators to hire more economic analysts.

With a new Congress due to start on January 3, Compliance Complete sat down with three senior officials at the Chamber to discuss their priority issues for 2013. These include the Volcker rule banning risky trading by banks, exemptions for non-financial users of derivatives, the role of the Financial Stability Oversight Council in money-market fund reform. (more…)

U.S. using subpoenas under 1989 act as new tool to probe financial firms

By Andrew W. Schilling, Compliance Complete contributing author

The U.S. Department of Justice has increased its use of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act(FIRREA) to prosecute wrong-doing by financial firms. Accordingly, more institutions may find themselves having to deal with a subpoena under the act, including those that are directly targeted under the act. In-house counsel would be well advised to familiarize themselves with the statute and to respond to such subpoenas cautiously.

Responding to subpoenas has become routine business for in-house counsel at financial institutions, whose records are often necessary to “follow the money” in fraud prosecutions and civil lawsuits. (more…)

INTERVIEW: Volcker Rule, derivatives in U.S. business lobby’s sights for new year

By Emmanuel Olaoye, Compliance Complete

WASHINGTON, Dec. 24 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The U.S. Chamber of Commerce has been a leader in contesting U.S. regulators’ implementation of the Dodd-Frank Act. Lawsuits challenging the Securities and Exchange Commission and Commodity Futures Trading Commission over the justification for the rules have stopped some rules in their tracks and forced the regulators to hire more economic analysts.

With a new Congress due to start on January 3, Compliance Complete sat down with three senior officials at the Chamber to discuss their priority issues for 2013. These include the Volcker rule banning risky trading by banks, exemptions for non-financial users of derivatives, the role of the Financial Stability Oversight Council in money-market fund reform. (more…)

UBS felony plea in Libor deal ushers in tougher enforcement era

By Nick Paraskeva, Compliance Complete contributor

NEW YORK, Dec. 21 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The UBS felony fraud plea for manipulating reporting of the Libor interbank lending rate marks a regulatory turning point towards tougher enforcement. After the U.S. election confirmed Dodd-Frank is here to stay, and with most Group of 20 reforms mapped out, rulemaking will proceed at a slower pace. The shift will impact the financial-industry, both in the U.S. and globally, which will face a greater supervisory willingness to impose high penalties, and a focus on ethical compliance.

“Today’s announcement – and $1.5 billion global resolution – underscores the Justice Department’s firm commitment to investigating and prosecuting such conduct, and to holding perpetrators of these crimes accountable for their actions,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder in announcing the deal this week. His involvement in the enforcement was notable, as previous announcements have been made by Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer. (more…)

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