This Regulatory Circular is being issued to advise Trading Permit Holders/Members that the staff of the SEC’s Division of Trading and Markets has provided the Cboe-affiliated Exchanges and other Participants to the CAT NMS Plan with no-action relief from enforcing their Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) Compliance Rules with regard to CAT implementation deadlines against Industry Members. The Division indicates that its no-action relief only applies through May 20, 2020, but could be extended.
SR-NYSE-2020-19 Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Rule 7.35C to Provide Temporarily, until May 15, 2020, the Exchange with Discretion to Facilitate a Trading Halt Auction following a MarketWide Circuit Breaker Halt if a Security has not Reopened by 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time
The Exchange proposes to amend Rule 7.35C to provide the Exchange with discretion to facilitate a Trading Halt Auction following a Level 1 or Level 2 trading halt due to extraordinary market volatility under Rule 7.12 (“MWCB Halt”) if a security has not reopened by 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time.
SR-NYSE-2020-20 Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change Amending Rule 7.12 Concerning the Resumption of Trading following a Level 3 Market-wide Circuit Breaker Halt
Upon feedback from industry participants, the Exchange has been working with other national securities exchanges and FINRA to establish a standardized approach for resuming trading in all NMS Stocks following a Level 3 halt. The proposed approach would allow for the opening of all securities the next trading day after a Level 3 halt as a regular trading day, and is designed to ensure that Level 3 MWCB events are handled in a more consistent manner that is transparent for market participants. As proposed, a Level 3 halt would end at the end of the trading day on which it is declared. This proposed change would allow for next-day trading to resume in all NMS Stocks no differently from any other trading day. In other words, an exchange could resume trading in any security when it first begins trading under its rules and would not need to wait for the primary listing market to re-open trading in a security before it could start trading such security. Accordingly, under the proposal, the Exchange could begin trading all UTP Securities at the beginning of the Exchange’s Early Trading Session at 7:00 a.m. ET, regardless of whether the primary listing markets for those securities have actually opened.
Securities and Exchange Release Nos. 33-10765 Updated Disclosure Requirements and Summary Prospectus for Variable Annuity and Variable Life Insurance Contracts
The SEC is adopting rule and form amendments intended to help investors make informed investment decisions regarding variable annuity and variable life insurance contracts. The amendments modernize disclosures by using a layered disclosure approach designed to provide investors with key information relating to the contract’s terms, benefits, and risks in a concise and more reader-friendly presentation, with access to more detailed information available online and electronically or in paper format on request. New rule 498A under the Securities Act of 1933 will permit a person to satisfy its prospectus delivery obligations under the Securities Act for a variable annuity or variable life insurance contract by sending or giving a summary prospectus to investors and making the statutory prospectus available online. The rule also will consider a person to have met its prospectus delivery obligations for any portfolio companies associated with a variable annuity or variable life insurance contract if the portfolio company prospectuses are posted online. To implement the new disclosure framework, the SEC is also amending the registration forms for variable annuity and variable life insurance contracts to update and enhance the disclosures to investors in these contracts, and to implement the proposed summary prospectus framework, and adopting amendments to our rules that will require variable contracts to use the Inline eXtensible Business Reporting Language (“Inline XBRL”) format for the submission of certain required disclosures in the variable contract statutory prospectus.
MSRB Regulatory Notice 2020-07 MSRB Reminds Regulated Entities of Application of Supervisory Requirements in Light of Coronavirus
The MSRB is closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) on municipal market participants, including municipal securities dealers, municipal advisors, issuers and investors. In light of the recent public health concerns due to the outbreak, the MSRB recognizes that the coronavirus may present operational challenges and business disruption for regulated entities. To address concerns regarding potential business and operational challenges, the MSRB is issuing this reminder to regulated entities regarding the supervision of municipal securities and municipal advisory activities and that of their associated persons.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-08 Pandemic-Related Business Continuity Planning, Guidance and Regulatory Relief
Due to the recent outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19), FINRA reminds member firms to consider pandemic-related business continuity planning, including whether their business continuity plans (BCPs) are sufficiently flexible to address a wide range of possible effects in the event of a pandemic in the United States. Each member firm is also encouraged to review its BCP to consider pandemic preparedness and to review its emergency contacts to ensure that FINRA has a reliable means of contacting the firm. This Notice also provides pandemic-related guidance and regulatory relief to member firms from some requirements. As coronavirus-related risks decrease, member firms should expect to return to meeting any regulatory obligations for which relief has been provided.
Securities and Exchange Release No. 33-10762 Financial Disclosures about Guarantors and Issuers of Guaranteed Securities and Affiliates Whose Securities Collateralize a Registrant’s Securities
The SEC is adopting amendments to the financial disclosure requirements for guarantors and issuers of guaranteed securities registered or being registered, and issuers’ affiliates whose securities collateralize securities registered or being registered in Regulation S-X to improve those requirements for both investors and registrants. The changes are intended to provide investors with material information given the specific facts and circumstances, make the disclosures easier to understand, and reduce the costs and burdens to registrants. In addition, by reducing the costs and burdens of compliance, issuers may be encouraged to offer guaranteed or collateralized securities on a registered basis, thereby affording investors protection they may not be provided in offerings conducted on an unregistered basis. Finally, by making it less burdensome and less costly for issuers to include guarantees or pledges of affiliate securities as collateral when they structure debt offerings, the revisions may increase the number of registered offerings that include these credit enhancements, which could result in a lower cost of capital and an increased level of investor protection.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-07 FINRA Reminds Member Firms of Their Responsibilities for Supervising UTMA and UGMA Accounts
This Notice addresses the characteristics of Uniform Transfers to Minors Act (UTMA) and Uniform Gifts to Minors Act (UGMA) accounts (collectively referred to herein as “UTMA/UGMA Accounts”) and the responsibilities of member firms to supervise UTMA/UGMA Accounts.
The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) is an independent selfregulatory organization governed by a Board of Directors with broad expertise in the municipal securities market. The MSRB’s activities are informed by input from municipal market participants and other stakeholders who share the MSRB’s commitment to enhancing the transparency of the municipal securities market. During the fiscal year that began October 1, 2020, the MSRB intends to convene a Market Transparency Advisory Group (MTAG) to benefit from the insight of industry experts and market participants, and from perspectives of those knowledgeable about the unique and often complex nature of the municipal securities market. Accordingly, the MSRB is now seeking volunteers for its FY 2020 MTAG.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-06 FINRA Announces Update of the Interpretations of Financial and Operational Rules
FINRA is updating the text of the Securities Exchange Act (SEA) financial responsibility rules in the Interpretations of Financial and Operational Rules to reflect the effectiveness of a rule change that the SEC) adopted. The SEC’s rule change, amending paragraph (e)(1)(i)(A) of SEA Rule 17a-5, relates to a specified exemption with regard to the annual reporting requirement for a broker-dealer whose securities business has been limited to acting as broker (agent) for a single issuer in soliciting subscriptions for securities of that issuer.
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