Financial Regulatory Forum

US SEC cracks down on how companies are governed

Rachelle Younglai

WASHINGTON, Dec 16 (Reuters) – U.S. companies will have to disclose their compensation practices and board members’ qualifications under rules adopted by the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday.

The SEC voted 4-1 to change how companies govern themselves and provide more information to investors, who have criticized lax boards and lavish executive compensation.

“Good corporate governance is a system in which those who manage a company … are effectively held accountable for their decisions and performance,” SEC Chairman Mary Schapiro said at an open meeting.

Amid the worst financial crisis in decades, shareholders have voiced frustration over how companies performed and executives are paid.

Shareholders have taken a more active role in how their companies are governed, pushing for say on pay and seeking an easier way to influence the composition of the corporate board.

U.S. serves tax probe subpoenas in NY area

By Kim Dixon
WASHINGTON, Oct 28 (Reuters) – The U.S. government has served subpoenas on wealthy individuals in recent days in the New York area, targeting those who may have evaded taxes using offshore accounts at Swiss bank UBS AG, lawyers said on Wednesday.

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U.S. SEC pursuing “significant” insider cases – source

U.S. SEC pursuing “significant” insider cases-source
WASHINGTON, Oct 19 (Reuters) – U.S. securities regulators are pursuing “significant” insider trading cases involving financial professionals, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.

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SEC eyes inspection review; part of 5-yr draft plan

Booking mug shot of Bernard Madoff released to Reuters on March 17, 2009. Madoff pleaded guilty March 12, 2009, to orchestrating the biggest investment fraud in Wall Street history and was jailed to await a sentence that could keep him in prison for the rest of his life.  NO SALES   EDITORIAL USE ONLY    REUTERS/UNITED STATES MARSHALS SERVICE/FOIA/Handout   (UNITED STATES)    Oct 9 (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has released a draft five-year strategic plan which includes an overhaul of the way it inspects investment advisors in the wake of the Bernard Madoff Ponzi scheme scandal. (more…)

SEC standardizes rules for U.S. “erroneous trades”

USA-FED/   NEW YORK, Oct 5 (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday adopted a single set of rules for “clearly erroneous” trades, eliminating a mixed bag of standards that exchanges used to monitor increasingly electronic trading. (more…)

Draft US bill frees some from derivatives clearing

REGULATION-SUMMIT/   By Kevin Drawbaugh
   WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) – Firms ranging from airlines to agribusiness would be exempt from new rules on compulsory clearing of derivatives transactions under a bill in Congress aimed at tightening oversight of the financial system. (more…)

SEC changes U.S. municipal bond syndicate rules

msrb-logo    WASHINGTON, Sept 30 (Reuters) – The Securities and Exchange Commission has shortened the time period when U.S. municipal bond underwriting syndicates and account managers settle their accounts and when they can sell in the secondary market. (more…)

US regulators propose ban on ‘flash’ trading

BRITAIN/   By Karey Wutkowski
   WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – U.S. securities regulators proposed on Thursday a ban on flash orders that stock exchanges send to a select group of traders, fractions of a second before revealing them publicly. (more…)

US SEC scolds, moves to reform credit agencies

sec2    WASHINGTON, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Credit agencies will have to disclose more of their ratings history, and banks will have to share data used to rate financial products with all credit agencies, under rules adopted by U.S. regulators on Thursday. (more…)

Bank of America-SEC bonus pact rejected; Cuomo eyes charges

Bank of America CEO Kenneth Lewis pauses as he speaks at the National Urban League Conference in Chicago July 30, 2009. REUTERS/John Gress By Jonathan Stempel and Grant McCool
NEW YORK, Sept 14 (Reuters) – A federal judge rejected Bank of America Corp’s $33 million settlement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over Merrill Lynch & Co bonuses as a contrivance, and New York’s top legal officer prepared to sue senior bank executives.

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