Tag Archives: financial regulatory and compliance

Florida Creates Blockchain Task Force to Study Benefits of Blockchain Technology

On May 23, 2019, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed SB 1024 (Florida Blockchain Bill) into law to establish the Florida Blockchain Task Force (Blockchain Task Force) within the Florida Department of Financial Services. The Blockchain Task Force will study if and how Florida’s state, county, and municipal governments can benefit from a transition to blockchain-based … Continue Reading

FinCEN Issues Guidance on Application of Regulations to Certain Business Models Involving Convertible Virtual Currencies

On May 9, 2019, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) issued “interpretive guidance” addressing how FinCEN’s money services business (MSB) regulations apply to a variety of business models that use convertible virtual currency (CVC) (2019 FinCEN Guidance). This is the first significant guidance FinCEN has issued regarding the … Continue Reading

SEC Approves Final Regulation Best Interest, Form CRS

On June 5, 2019, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) voted 3-1 to adopt a series of proposals intended to “substantially enhance” the standards of conduct for financial professionals. First and foremost, the SEC adopted Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI), a new rule establishing an updated standard of conduct for broker-dealers and associated persons of … Continue Reading

Summer Is Coming – Are You Prepared for the SEC OCIE Cybersecurity Sweep?

In March 2019 the SEC’s Office of Compliance, Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced it would soon commence its annual “Cybersecurity Sweep” of registered investment advisers and broker-dealers. The reality of daily breaches and hacks combined with the watchful eye of the SEC and other regulatory and enforcement bodies means registrants should recommit to dedicating the … Continue Reading

CFTC and NFA Commodities Regulatory Update

Departing from its historical practice but following the approach taken by the SEC and FINRA, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) on Feb. 12, 2019, announced its first release of examination priorities for each of its regulatory divisions. In making the announcement, CFTC Chairman J. Christopher Giancarlo indicated the release is part of CFTC’s “initiative … Continue Reading

Colorado Digital Token Act Exempts Certain Cryptocurrency Transactions From Colorado Securities Laws

Colorado recently passed legislation that will facilitate the sale and transfer of digital tokens in Colorado. Under the Digital Token Act, Colorado businesses will be permitted to effect transactions involving the sale and transfer between certain persons of digital tokens secured through a decentralized ledger or database, with a focus on the production, distribution, and … Continue Reading

FINRA’s 2019 Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter

On Jan. 22, 2019, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) released its 14th Annual Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter, where it identifies its areas of examination focus for 2019. The FINRA president’s cover note points out the addition to the title of a reference to “risk monitoring.” While the Priority Letter describes the multiple … Continue Reading

SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations Releases 2019 Examination Priorities

Click here for a comprehensive GT Alert on this topic. On Dec. 20, 2018, the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) issued its annual Examination Priorities for 2019 (Exam Priorities), which is available for download here. The Exam Priorities focus around six thematic areas: (1) Retail Investors, … Continue Reading

Prove It or Lose It! Parts I and II: Unexplained Wealth Orders and Civil Recovery Orders in the United Kingdom

Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWOs) extend the powers available to UK law enforcement authorities under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA), enabling investigators to ask people who are holding assets, which based on their legitimate income they would not be able to afford, to prove that such assets were obtained from legitimate sources. If the … Continue Reading

NASDAQ Provides Additional Flexibility Under Its 20% Shareholder Approval Rule

Effective Sept. 26, 2018, the Securities and Exchange Commission approved amendments to Nasdaq’s shareholder approval rule regarding issuances of 20% or more of an issuer’s outstanding common stock or voting power in a private offering. The amendments are intended to update Nasdaq’s shareholder approval rules from their 1990 adoption and enhance the ability for capital … Continue Reading

11th Circuit Answers When Would-Be ‘Customers’ May Bring a FINRA Arbitration Against FINRA Members and Associated Persons

Last week, in Pictet Overseas, Inc. v. Helvetia Trust, the Eleventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed a Florida district court’s order permanently enjoining two offshore trusts from pursuing a FINRA arbitration against a FINRA member and its associated person owners. In Pictet, two offshore trusts, Helvetia Trust and AAA Group International Trust, held custodial … Continue Reading

SEC Order Seeks to Clarify Steps Forward Following Lucia

In a previous GT Alert, we summarized and analyzed the Supreme Court’s June 21, 2018, decision in Lucia v. Securities & Exchange Commission, 138 S. Ct. 2044 (2018). That GT Alert cited the SEC’s 30-day stay of “all administrative proceedings” “before an administrative law judge” and foretold continued uncertainty concerning the status of administrative law … Continue Reading

NY Department of Financial Services Proposes its Own Fiduciary Rule in Response to U.S. DOL Delay

In February, President Trump signed an Executive Order directing the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to review the fiduciary rule for brokers that President Obama’s Labor Department adopted. The federal rule would expand the definition of “investment advice” in the retirement context and require brokers to provide advice that is in the consumer’s best interest. … Continue Reading

SEC and FINRA Continue to Root Out Bad Brokers

On Thursday, July 27, regulators and industry professionals gathered in Washington, D.C. to discuss the current regulatory environment, cybersecurity, and other hot topics at the SEC and FINRA’s 2017 National Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers. The panelists, including SEC Commissioner Michael Piwowar, FINRA President and CEO Robert Cook, and Susan Axelrod, the Executive Vice President of … Continue Reading

Ninth Circuit Widens Circuit Split on Whether Dodd-Frank Protects Internal Whistleblowing

On March 8, 2017, in Somers v. Digital Realty Trust Inc., No.15-cv-17352 (9th Cir., March 8, 2017), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s denial of the defendant’s motion to dismiss a whistleblower claim brought under the Dodd-Frank Act’s (“DFA”)’s anti-retaliation provision. In a 2-1 decision, the majority endorsed the approach of … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig’s Koichiro Ohashi to Speak About Fintech in Connection to Luxembourg and Japan

Koichiro Ohashi, shareholder in the Tokyo office of international law firm Greenberg Traurig, LLP will participate in a program titled, “A taste of FinTech From 2 Angles … and 2 Sides of The World” on March 14 in Luxembourg. The discussion will address the challenges and opportunities of Fintech in Luxembourg and Japan.… Continue Reading

Elaine Greenberg to Speak at PLI Hedge and Private Funds Seminar

Elaine C. Greenberg, Greenberg Traurig shareholder, will speak at the Practising Law Institute (PLI) Program “Hedge and Private Fund Enforcement & Regulatory Developments 2016” in New York City on Dec. 1. Greenberg will be participating in the session titled “SEC Inspections and Examinations of Private Equity and Hedge Funds.” The seminar provides insights into current … Continue Reading

New Proposed RIC Regulations

The Internal Revenue Service (the Service) issued guidance last month that will, practically speaking, make it slightly more difficult for entities to qualify as regulated investment companies (RICs) for federal income tax purposes. Under current law, an SEC registered investment company may qualify as a RIC only if, inter alia, (i) 90 percent of its … Continue Reading

Greenberg Traurig’s Koichiro Ohashi, Lori Nugent, and Jonathan Beckham to Participate in the ACCA and FIAJ Seminar on Cloud Computing Services Usage by the Financial Services Industry

Greenberg Traurig is proud to host and participate in the Asia Cloud Computing Association (ACCA) and the Futures Industry Association of Japan (FIAJ) program “Cloud Computing Services Usage by the Financial Services Industry – Business Models and Regulatory Approach” in the GT Tokyo office on Nov. 1, 2016. GT Shareholders Koichiro Ohashi and Lori Nugent … Continue Reading

Davos Report Envisions Blockchain Technology as Central to Global Banking

On Aug. 12, 2016, the World Economic Forum in Davos issued a report that predicts that distributive ledger systems, or blockchains, could enable banks to offer cheaper, faster and more secure services, without using bitcoin or other virtual currencies for transactions, according to the New York Times.  Distributed ledger technology, or blockchain, is a system … Continue Reading

U.S. Treasury Department Expands its ‘Real Estate GTOs’ to Require Title Insurance Companies and Their Agents To Report the Ultimate Beneficial Owners of Entities Used To Buy Residential Real Estate in All-Cash Purchases in Six Metropolitan Areas, Including all of New York City, South Florida and Portions of California and Texas

On July 27, 2016, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network of the U.S. Department of the Treasury (FinCEN) issued a press release announcing new Geographic Targeting Orders (GTOs) applicable to certain U.S. title insurance companies and their subsidiaries and “agents” (collectively, the Targeted Title Insurance Companies). The new GTOs go well beyond those that were initially … Continue Reading

SEC Share Class Sweep of Registered Investment Advisers Appears to be Underway

On July 13, 2016, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) announced its 2016 Share Class Initiative (the Initiative). The Initiative is focused on addressing the perceived risk that registered investment advisers may be providing conflicted advice to their clients when recommending investments in mutual fund share classes.  For example, OCIE staff is … Continue Reading

FSOC Report Targets Marketplace Lending

The Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) issued its annual report at the end of June, the sixth since the FSOC began issuing reports under Dodd-Frank.  Notably, however, this was the first report to address the emergence of Fintech.  In particular, the FSOC highlighted distributed ledger systems and marketplace lending as developing sources of concern.  The … Continue Reading
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