Financial Regulatory Forum

Forget HFT; “High Intelligence Trading” is the new frontier for technology, markets, regulation

By Henry Engler, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Apr. 10, 2014 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - While fast is good, smart is better, and with untold resources of computing power and memory banks in the clouds, the new frontier in electronic trading combines sophisticated intelligent software with rapid-fire processing, enabling traders to stay one step ahead of the regulators.

“What’s the difference between pure speed and adding intelligence to that speed?” asked Terry Keene, head of iSys, a technology integration firm, at a conference focused on high performance computing. The answer is “big data analytics” that brings decision-making and trading to a “near-time” environment, he added. (more…)

“Big data” tools will improve regulatory oversight, FINRA’s di Florio says

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Feb. 25 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is developing a suite of “big data” information sources and analytics to improve regulatory oversight of securities firms, according to Carlo di Florio, FINRA’s chief risk officer and head of strategy.

Leveraging technology and analytics can make for a “unique moment in regulation [that lets regulators] see things they couldn’t have seen or understood as well before,” di Florio said at an event this week hosted by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association compliance and legal society. (more…)

Regulators have several options in dealing with CLOs under Volcker rule – law firm analysis

 By Henry Engler, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Feb. 20 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – In assessing what to do with collateralized loan obligations under the Volcker rule, regulators have several options, some that are better than others for the banking industry, a leading law firm advised clients on Monday this week.

The five regulatory agencies charged with implementation of the Volcker rule have come under fire from U.S. legislators over the Volcker rule’s treatment of collateralized loan obligations (CLOs), an issue the regulators said was at the top of their list of unintended consequences. In essence, CLOs are treated as hedge fund investments under the rule, which was finalized on December 10, 2013. Such treatment came as shock to the industry, and led to a sharp decline in new issuance, with RBS reporting a 60 percent drop in January. (more…)

U.S. Volcker Rule places major new demands on compliance

By Nick Paraskeva, for Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Dec. 17 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The Volcker Rule final version adopted on Tuesday by U.S. regulators imposes significant compliance demands on banks, with stricter prohibitions on proprietary trading than the initial proposal two years ago, narrower exemptions for market making and hedging and a requirement that chief executives are now required to annually certify to regulators that such a compliance plan is in place.
“As a foundation, the final Volcker Rule requires banking entities to have a robust compliance program, including defined limits on market making, underwriting and hedging activities as well as continuous monitoring and management of such activities. It also requires reporting to regulators on specific metrics and trading details,” U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission Chairman Gary Gensler said as the rule was adopted. (more…)

SEC aims to loosen rules on foreign broker-dealers in U.S., official says

By Nick Paraskeva, for Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Nov. 26 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - U.S. securities regulators are looking to loosen rules for foreign-broker dealers acting in the U.S. on a cross-border basis. The change would come in the wake of new policy being adopted to implement derivatives cross-border rules under Dodd-Frank. The reform was outlined by John Ramsay, Acting Director, Division of Trading and Markets of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Rulemaking priorities at the SEC division include the Volcker rule on proprietary trading, derivatives and a proposal for firms and exchanges to test major systems. New data sources and analytics will impact new rules on equity market structure and infrastructure improvements, Ramsay said on Tuesday at the Securities Industry and Financial Market Authority’s (SIFMA) Legal and Compliance Society. (more…)

Ontario Securities Commission fines, bans “qualified person” in landmark enforcement over faked science

By Daniel Seleanu, Compliance Complete

TORONTO, April 5 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – In a landmark settlement, the Ontario Securities Commission (OSC) has fined and permanently banned Bernard Boily for falsifying scientific research used in press releases by Bear Lake Gold Ltd., a mining exploration company listed on the TSX Venture Exchange in Toronto. When Bear Lake Gold announced that its research had been tampered with, it suffered a one-day market capitalisation loss of $42 million.

The Boily case is the first to come before the OSC that pertains to the conduct of a qualified person, a position defined as a gatekeeper of technical information under National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (PDF) (NI 43-101). (more…)

U.S. class-action securities settlements fewer but more costly in 2012 after IPO slump, credit crisis; Libor looms

By Stuart Gittleman, Compliance Complete

NEW YORK, Mar. 26 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Court-approved securities class action settlements reported in 2012 were at a 14-year low and 18 percent fewer than in 2011 but they cost defendants twice as much as the prior year, a report released Wednesday said.

The study by the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and Cornerstone Research associated settlement values with factors including the presence of enforcement actions related to the lawsuits. This may hold clues to the outcomes in recently litigation over alleged manipulation of the global lending benchmark LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate.  (more…)

Collateral management reform could herald benefits for risk managers

By Rachel Wolcott

LONDON/NEW YORK, July 30 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - Risk managers could benefit from the financial services industry’s revamp of collateral management services in preparation for the new regulatory requirements that will drive demand for high-quality collateral. New regulations for the clearing of over-the-counter (OTC) derivatives through central counterparties (CCPs) alone could increase demand for high-quality collateral to $2 trillion or more, according to some estimates. In response, some firms are aiming for a more universal approach to collateral management.

Many firms still take a rather old-fashioned view of collateral management. It is often fragmented and inefficient. Most firms operate collateral management in silos determined by geography or asset class. This can lead to poor communication between different collateral management functions — for example, repo staff might not speak to the securities lending unit, or the New York office might not speak to its UK counterpart as much or as often as it should.  (more…)

Learn the compliance lessons from an epic fail in correspondent banking and trade finance

By Kim R. Manchester, Thomson Reuters Accelus contributing author

NEW YORK, July 16 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) - A Settlement Agreement was released in June 2012 by the United States Department of the Treasury regarding the voluntary self-disclosure to the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) by ING Bank, N.V. (ING Bank), a financial institution registered and organized in the Netherlands. The violations of numerous sanctions programs imposed by the United States against Cuba, Burma, the Sudan, Libya and Iran were determined by the Americans as “egregious.” (more…)

U.S. brokerage regulator warns of ‘unpleasant surprises’ on ETNs

By Stuart Gittleman

NEW YORK, July 11 (Thomson Reuters Accelus) – The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the U.S. brokerage regulator, warned investors Tuesday in an alert of the features and risks of exchange-traded notes.

The alert, Exchange-traded notes: avoid unpleasant surprises, listed the risks of certain ETNs and urged investors to carefully investigate before investing in them.  (more…)

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