SEC Cross-Border Proposal Balances Burdens and Benefits of New SBS Regime

On Friday, the SEC proposed a package of rule amendments and regulatory guidance regarding the cross-border application of its security-based swap (“SBS”) rules.  The proposal represents an attempt by the SEC to reconsider certain aspects of the cross-border application of SBS regulatory requirements that market participants have identified as unnecessarily burdensome or incongruous with parallel CFTC swaps requirements.

Crypto-Miners: Are They Broker-Dealers or Math Geeks?

If it quacks like a duck, it’s a duck, right. But does it quack? That’s the question broker-dealer Templum Markets has raised to the US Securities and Exchange Commission about crypto-miners which has polarized the crypto-community into deciding whether they should be regulated as broker-dealers. At the heart of the debate are conflicting interpretations of […]

Regulators and Plaintiffs Aren’t Waiting for Privacy Legislation: Companies Face Potential Liability Now and Can Take Steps to Reduce Risks

Momentum is building in Congress for federal privacy legislation and several states have their own privacy laws in the works.  But, as concerns grow that companies are collecting and sharing personal information about U.S. residents without their knowledge and not adequately protecting that data, regulators and plaintiffs aren’t waiting for new laws.  Instead, they are refitting existing laws to meet their data privacy and security objectives.


SEC to Transfer Agents: Clean Up Your Operations

Broker-dealers and banks aren’t the only ones running off with customer monies. The US Securities and Exchange Commission is cracking the whip on shareholder recordkeepers for doing the same. Misappropriation of issuer and investor funds was one of the two major operational deficiencies the US regulatory agency’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations says it […]

SEC Staff Doubles Down on Howey for Digital Assets

Last week, the SEC staff published new detailed guidance on its views of when a digital asset may be considered a security, in the form of two documents:  a guidance “framework” issued by the SEC’s Strategic Hub for Innovation and Financial Technology and a no-action letter from the SEC’s Division of Corporation Finance.

SEC’s New Rule 606: Execution Transparency At a Cost

For brokerage trade operations, compliance and IT managers, providing fund managers with more granular details about where and how their trades were executed to fulfill the US Securities and Exchange Commission’s enhancements to Rule 606 could turn into a major operational headache. At issue is how much data broker-dealers have readily available, how much they […]

Chairman Jay Clayton and Director Brett Redfearn Preview Potential Further Equity Market Structure Reforms—Exchange Market Data Business Model Targeted

Earlier this month, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton and Division of Trading and Markets Director Brett Redfearn engaged in a public dialogue on equity market structure issues.  In addition to reviewing three equity market structure initiatives adopted by the SEC in 2018 (the transaction fee pilot,

Consolidated Audit Trail: Those Messy Data Linkages

US brokerage operations managers are quickly turning their attention to how they will meet the cumbersome requirements for data linkages now that the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) has been stepped in at the eleventh hour to operate the new consolidated audit trail (CAT). The initial phase-in of CAT — 2a and 2b– starting in […]

Status of Financial Regulatory Leadership Changes

As the new Congress gets underway, we have updated our brief deck summarizing the leadership and staffing changes among federal financial regulators, including announced nominations, confirmations, resignations and expiring terms.  The first slide summarizes the state of play for the agencies’ principals; the later slides provide a deeper look on an agency-by-agency basis, including select senior staff.  We intend to continue to update this resource from time t

AML Exams: Data Quality Takes Center Stage

Data integrity and integration. The popular terms used in trade and post-trade operations are quickly making their way into the world of anti-money laundering compliance as financial firms prepare for more stringent regulatory exams. With the number and value of fines growing, buy-side and sell-side firms are returning to the basics of evaluating their data […]