Financial Regulatory Forum

IA Brief: If your program is a “wrap”, be prepared

October 11, 2016
An investment adviser’s participation in a wrap fee program will not only increase its compliance and disclosure responsibilities but raise its regulatory profile with heightened focus on the programs. The focus was recently demonstrated with a Securities and Exchange Commission case in which two large firms settled complaints over wrap fee program compliance failures. Investment advisers are often creating or implementing new programs to meet their clients’ specific needs and ultimately improving their client experience. In recent years, the use of single fee programs or a more holistic approach to the advisory relationship has been embraced; however, programs that bundle particular services can often fall into the definition of a wrap fee program.


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.

Wells Fargo case highlights need to monitor employees with stressful performance goals

September 22, 2016
One of the more difficult tasks for compliance officers is to question employee success, even if those achievements come against almost insurmountable odds. The disclosure that Wells Fargo employees, in order to meet sales targets, signed up more than 2 million of its customers for new accounts and credit cards without their knowledge, is an example of employee performance that should be questioned even though the impulse is often to look the other way.


Behavioral compliance: how to stop ‘good people’ from doing bad things

August 16, 2016

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – Behavioral compliance is a relatively new way of thinking in combating bad behavior on Wall Street and beyond. Born out of frustration with repeated cases of misconduct and individual wrongdoing, both banks and regulators are looking outside their traditional toolkit in trying to curb unethical behavior. The effort is part of the ongoing cultural reform battle, and evidence of creative ways of leveraging other disciplines to tackle the problem is growing, say experts. (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.

Ontario whistleblower policy seen strong on compliance culture, weaker on incentives, confidentiality

July 19, 2016

Ontario’s incoming securities whistleblower program will promote better compliance culture among market participants, but the limited incentives and confidentiality it offers to informants may hamper its effectiveness, legal experts have warned. (more…)

Brexit signals shift: political risk hits long-stable Western economies

July 6, 2016

By Richard Satran, Regulatory Intelligence

(NEW YORK) – The idea that the biggest risk faced by the global economy no longer comes from the Middle East or somewhere along the Cold War fault line is not entirely new. But the Brexit vote and its aftermath underscores the need for risk professionals to understand the implications of the growing revolt against elites sweeping through the part of the world long viewed as the most stable.

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.

Outside business activities: Getting assessments and monitoring right

June 7, 2016

By Julie DiMauro, Regulatory Intelligence

(Thomson Reuters Regulatory Intelligence) – Broker-dealers and investment advisers must appreciate their obligations to report on their employees’ outside business activities and implement effective practices related to monitoring and supervising them.

IMPACT ANALYSIS: U.S. bank regulators propose stable funding rule for banks; utility in question

May 27, 2016

U.S. financial regulators have taken a significant step in completing the last component of the original liquidity standards laid out by the Basel Committee with the proposed rule on the net stable funding ratio.