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Regulatory Insights - August 2021

Your source for the latest updates from the SEC, FINRA, DOL and across the industry.


Your source for the latest updates from the SEC, FINRA, DOL and across the industry.

CONTENTS

SEC REGULATORY INITIATIVES

  • SEC approves NYSE gifted shares petition
  • SEC disapproves NYSE petition to shift oversight of proxy fee schedule to FINRA
  • SEC charges 27 financial firms for Form CRS filing and delivery failures
  • SEC Requests Information and Comment on Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Digital Engagement Practices
  • SEC issues risk alert on wrap fee accounts
  • SEC issues risk alert on fixed income principal and cross trades by investment advisers from an examination initiative
  • U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the European Central Bank sign Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation with respect to security-based swap entities

FINRA GUIDANCE

  • Cloud computing in the securities industry
  • FINRA alerts firms to a phishing email campaign using multiple imposter FINRA domain names
  • FINRA reminds firms of their supervisory obligations related to outsourcing to third-party vendors

ESG

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler delivers speech before the Principles for Responsible Investment “Climate and Global Financial Markets” webinar on July 28
  • The SEC will scrutinize how big investment firms are looking at their climate change risks

CRYPTOCURRENCY

  • SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s remarks before the Aspen Security Forum
  • Commissioner Hester Peirce’s public statement in the matter of Poloniex, LLC

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

  • Lisa Gomez nominated for Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security
  • DOL issues lifetime income illustrations FAQs for pension benefit statements
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SEC REGULATORY INITIATIVES

SEC approves NYSE gifted shares petition

On August 13, the SEC approved new NYSE Rule 451A. This new rule prohibits brokers from seeking reimbursement for fees from issuers for sending out proxy and interim materials if the broker gifted shares to their customer at no cost. Brokers can still seek reimbursement for other costs, such as out-of-pocket expenses.

Read the SEC order.

SEC disapproves NYSE petition to shift oversight of proxy fee schedule to FINRA

On August 18, the SEC disapproved the NYSE’s petition to amend their rules and remove the proxy and interims fee schedule from their rules, which would have shifted oversight of the fee schedule to FINRA.

Read the SEC order.

Read the comment letters.

SEC charges 27 financial firms for Form CRS filing and delivery failures

On July 26, the SEC announced 21 investment advisers and 6 broker-dealers have agreed to settle charges that they failed to timely file and deliver their customer relationship summaries–known as Form CRS—to their retail investors.

Read the press release.

SEC Requests Information and Comment on Broker-Dealer and Investment Adviser Digital Engagement Practices, Related Tools and Methods, and Regulatory Considerations and Potential Approaches; Information and Comments on Investment Adviser Use of Technology

On August 27, the SEC announced that it is requesting information and public comment on matters related to the use of digital engagement practices by broker-dealers and investment advisers. A 30-day public comment will commence following publication of the Request in the Federal Register.

Read the entire press release and request for comment here.

SEC issues risk alert on wrap fee accounts

The SEC Division of Examinations said they focused on wrap fee programs because of the continued growth of investor assets participating in such programs and the conflicts and disclosure practices observed during previous examinations.

Read the July 21 risk alert on wrap fee accounts.

SEC issues risk alert on fixed income principal and cross trades by investment advisers from an examination initiative

The SEC Division of Examinations encourages advisers to review their written policies and procedures regarding principal and cross trades, including the implementation of those policies and procedures, to ensure that they are consistent with the Advisers Act and the rules thereunder.

Read the July 21 risk alert on fixed income principal and cross trades by investment advisers.

U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the European Central Bank sign Memorandum of Understanding regarding cooperation with respect to security-based swap entities

The SEC and ECB said this will facilitate consultation, cooperation and information exchange to supervise security-based swap dealers and participants that are SEC registered and supervised by the ECB.

Read the press release.


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FINRA

Cloud computing in the securities industry

On August 16, FINRA published a cloud computing study and request for comment. Section I provides an overview of cloud computing, Section II summarizes firms’ experiences with cloud adoption, and Section III discusses some regulatory considerations for cloud computing.
Comments are requested by October 16.

View the study and request for comments.

On August 13, FINRA published Regulatory Notice 21-30, “FINRA Alerts Firms to a Phishing Email Campaign Using Multiple Imposter FINRA Domain Names”

Read the full regulatory notice.

On August 13, published Regulatory Notice 21-29, “FINRA Reminds Firms of their Supervisory Obligations Related to Outsourcing to Third-Party Vendors”

Read the full regulatory notice.


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ESG

SEC Chair Gary Gensler delivers speech before the Principles for Responsible Investment “Climate and Global Financial Markets” webinar on July 28

Gensler plans to have SEC staff develop a mandatory climate risk disclosure rule proposal for the commission’s consideration by the end of the year.

Read SEC Chair Gensler’s speech.

The SEC will scrutinize how big investment firms are looking at their climate change risks

In a prerecorded session at a July 22 Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association conference, Daniel Kahl, the SEC’s incoming examinations chief, said the SEC is scrutinizing how big investment firms are looking at their climate change risks.

Read the article.


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CRYPTOCURRENCY

SEC Chair Gary Gensler’s remarks before the Aspen Security Forum

Read SEC Chair Gensler’s full remarks.

Commissioner Hester Peirce’s public statement in the matter of Poloniex, LLC

Read Commissioner Peirce’s public statement.


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DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Lisa Gomez nominated for Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security

On July 27, Lisa Gomez, a partner with the law firm Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP and the Chair of the firm’s management committee, was nominated for Assistant Secretary for Employee Benefits Security at the DOL. Her nomination requires Senate confirmation.

Read the July 27 press release.

DOL issues lifetime income illustrations FAQs for pension benefit statements

On July 26, the DOL issued Temporary Implementing FAQs for the interim final rule (IFR) for lifetime income illustrations in pension benefit statements. In compliance with its SECURE Act directives, the department published an IFR on September 18, 2020.

Read the temporary implementing lifetime income illustrations FAQs.

This newsletter is not intended as legal advice. Broadridge recommends you contact your legal counsel for a complete understanding of the information contained in this publication.

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