Financial Regulatory Forum

Brokers face a fight asking the SEC to end exchanges’ SRO structure

By Nick Paraskeva, Compliance Complete contributing author

NEW YORK, Aug. 14 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Wall Street has asked regulators to consider ending the special supervisory status given to exchanges, saying that new technology such as dark pools and algorithmic trading has led to broker-dealers directly competing with exchanges for market share.

The exchanges have countered that market dispersion hurts investors, and are seeking regulatory protection from high frequency trading, and the Securities and Exchange Commission, which oversees both brokers and exchanges, is in the middle. (more…)

SEC move toward admissions of guilt may have only limited impact

By Nick Paraskeva, contributing author for Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, June 24 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – A new enforcement policy to require admissions of guilt in serious civil cases will be a potent weapon for the Securities and Exchange Commission, (SEC), if the agency chooses to use it. The change will appease some of those who criticized the SEC for a tepid enforcement response to the crisis. However, without a transparent process, there will be little way of knowing in which cases the admission is being sought.

Recently-appointed SEC Chairman Mary Jo White this week announced a policy change, to require firms to admit guilt in the most serious enforcement cases. Like other agencies, the SEC has routinely settled cases where a defendant neither admits nor denies wrongdoing. An agreed-upon set of facts is published that describes the nature of the defendant’s actions, the charges being settled, and the agreed penalty. (more…)

ACCELUS SUMMIT: FATCA compliance is a manageable challenge, but deadlines loom

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, May 2 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – A U.S. law to improve tax compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign financial assets is creating confusion for foreign financial institutions that must cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service to help enforce the law.

The law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, requires U.S. taxpayers with certain foreign financial assets and offshore accounts to report the assets to the Internal Revenue Service.  (more…)

ACCELUS SUMMIT: Former U.S. SEC chief Pitt warns against imposing regulations abroad, urges industry engagement

Nick Paraskeva, for Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, May 2 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The United States should recognize it can no longer impose its regulatory solutions on the rest of the world, former U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission head Harvey Pitt said on Thursday.

“The time when the U.S. could be arrogant is long over, as is the time when it could believe it could hold on to financial services in this country,” Pitt told the Thomson Reuters Accelus annual Compliance & Risk Summit in New York.  (more…)

SEC’s Walter says she is open to alternatives to overseeing investment advisers

By Emmanuel Olaoye, Compliance Complete

WASHINGTON, Apr.19 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - There are several ways to ensure adequate examinations investment advisers: by charging investment advisers user fees, getting a bigger budget from Congress or through a self-regulated organization that oversaw investment advisers, SEC Commissioner Elisse Walter said. The important thing is to get on with it.  (more…)

SEC has three words for hedge funds: “culture of compliance.” But what do they mean?

By Jeanette Turner, contributing author for Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, April 3 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission inevitably emphasizes the importance of an advisory firm’s “culture of compliance,” in the regulator’s speeches, panel discussions, and announcements of enforcement wins and settlements. It stresses that firms will be held accountable when their employees break the law to benefit the firm. Having a “robust” culture of compliance can help firms avoid severe financial consequences. (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…)

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…)

Dos and don’ts on handling a regulatory investigation

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Dec. 21 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - A “highly polarized (and) politicized environment” had made the job of defending against a regulatory investigation particularly challenging, Lawrence Zweifach, a Gibson Dunn law partner, told attendees at a New York City Bar Association program last week. But there are steps a firm can to take to face the challenges.

The high-pressured atmosphere is affecting judges, regulators and legislators, and leading to cases “that will not stand up in the long run” to be brought, said Andrew Levander, a Dechert law partner. (more…)

Consumer groups see momentum building against more White House authority over regulators

By Emmanuel Olaoye, Compliance Complete

WASHINGTON, Nov. 20 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - A coalition of public-interest groups is urging Congress to reject a bill that would allow the White House to review major rules proposed by the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Commodities Futures Trading Commission.

The “Independent Agency Regulatory Analysis Act” which was introduced by Republican Senator Rob Portman of Ohio, would give the White House’s Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs the power to ask independent agencies such as the SEC to submit a cost-benefit analysis on “significant rules” or rules that have an economic impact of $100 million.  (more…)

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