Financial Regulatory Forum

IMPACT ANALYSIS: FINRA’s charges against ex-Morgan Stanley traders hired by UBS raise background questions

September 27, 2016

By Julie DiMauro, Regulatory Intelligence

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority’s (FINRA) charges against John Batista Bocchino and his sales assistant, Rafael Barela Jacinto, over unauthorized trading of $190 million worth of Venezuelan bonds and falsifying records have cast light on the significance of disciplinary histories in employing brokers.

INSIGHT: SEC delivering on promise to scrutinize private equity firms

September 15, 2016

By Todd Ehret, Regulatory Intelligence

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – Private equity firms in the 1980’s and 1990’s gained a notorious image as corporate raiders thriving on leveraged buyouts and hostile takeovers funded by junk bonds. The industry spawned famous tales and movies about the deals and larger-than-life personalities. Nevertheless, the number of participants and total assets of approximately $30 billion of that era were miniscule compared to today’s private equity (PE) industry, which has finally come under greater regulatory oversight. (more…)

INSIGHT: In a regulatory era, small U.S. banks are getting some relief

September 8, 2016

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – While the regulatory pendulum has swung toward the “more” side since since the advent of Dodd-Frank Act in 2010, a relatively new – and less noticeable — counter-trend has emerged toward addressing complaints by smaller banks of disproportionately heavy regulation. (more…)

SEC scrutinizing more sellers of F-Squared portfolios based on bad performance

August 31, 2016

By Richard Satran, Regulatory Intelligence

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – After charging 13 firms for using discredited marketing claims from the now-defunct investment adviser F-Squared, the Securities and Exchange Commission said it is looking more broadly at other companies that used a portfolio strategy for exchange-traded funds (ETFs) whose claims of market-beating results were based on false data.

Whistleblowing practices and severance agreements — what works

August 30, 2016

By Julie DiMauro, Regulatory Intelligence

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – Through their enforcement actions, policy initiatives and press releases, United States regulators are showing what effective whistleblowing practices look like, and why their importance is growing.

Is FINRA doing enough to steer investors clear of bad brokers?

August 9, 2016

By Todd Ehret, Regulatory Intelligence

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – A recent debate has emerged as to whether U.S. regulators and the securities industry have done enough to rid themselves of bad brokers. At the core of the argument are recent studies showing that the percentage of those engaged in misconduct is much higher than that claimed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, and that such brokers are often able to move unimpeded from firm to firm. (more…)

International graft crackdown takes hold, FBI official says, citing Brazil

August 5, 2016

The Brazil corruption scandal hitting the highest level of government is seen by many as another sign that the $1 trillion-a-year drained from the global economy through graft is unstoppable. Federal Bureau of Investigation veteran William McMurry views it differently — the country’s high-level prosecutions of public officials show that law enforcement is cracking down on bribery in places where it has long been ignored as the cost of doing business.

Floating NAVs: SEC money market fund compliance risk looms on the horizon

July 7, 2016

With the deadline for new valuation rules on certain money market funds only months away, compliance and risk professionals at fund management firms need to confirm they have taken the necessary steps to ensure that their systems are ready, as well as having communicated how such changes will impact their clients.

IMPACT ANALYSIS: DOL fiduciary rule may require multiple paths to compliance

June 27, 2016

Manisha Kimmel, Thomson Reuters

(NEW YORK) – What makes the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “fiduciary rule” so transformational is that unlike most regulations which have a major cost and operational impact, the DOL rule package will also have a material impact on the front office. This impact will include financial adviser compensation and revenue associated with Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs) and other retirement accounts. (more…)

The clash of varying views of ‘culture’ among companies and financial regulators

June 14, 2016

By Todd Ehret, Regulatory Intelligence

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – Culture, values, ethics, principles, and beliefs are all somewhat synonymous. Or are they? It depends on the setting and more importantly, the viewpoint from which one attempts to assess the philosophical concepts of right and wrong.