1. MSRB Information Notice 2020-17: Reminder for Regulated Entities of Their Annual Notification Requirements Under Rule G-10

    The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is providing this reminder to assist brokers, dealers, and municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors in their compliance efforts by highlighting the deadline by which regulated entities must provide certain notifications to each customer or municipal advisory client, respectively, as required under MSRB Rule G-10, on Investor and Municipal Advisory Client Education and Protection.


  2. SEC Release No. 33-10890: Management’s Discussion and Analysis, Selected Financial Data, and Supplementary Financial Information

    “We are adopting amendments to modernize, simplify, and enhance certain financial disclosure requirements in Regulation S-K. Specifically, we are eliminating the requirement for Selected Financial Data, streamlining the requirement to disclose Supplementary Financial Information, and amending Management’s Discussion & Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations. These amendments are intended to eliminate duplicative disclosures and modernize and enhance MD&A disclosures for the benefit of investors, while simplifying compliance efforts for registrants.”


  3. SEC Release No. 34-90442 Amendments to the Commission’s Rules of Practice

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is adopting amendments to its Rules of Practice to require persons involved in Commission administrative proceedings to file and serve documents electronically.


  4. SEC Release No. IC-34084 Use of Derivatives by Registered Investment Companies and Business Development Companies

    The Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) is adopting a new exemptive rule under the Investment Company Act of 1940 (the “Investment Company Act”) designed to address the investor protection purposes and concerns underlying section 18 of the Act and to provide an updated and more comprehensive approach to the regulation of funds’ use of derivatives and the other transactions addressed in 17 CFR 270.18f-4 (“rule 18f-4”). In addition, the Commission is adopting new reporting requirements designed to enhance the Commission’s ability to effectively oversee funds’ use of and compliance with rule 18f-4, and to provide the Commission and the public additional information regarding funds’ use of derivatives. Finally, the Commission is adopting amendments to 17 CFR 270.6c-11 (“rule 6c11”) under the Investment Company Act to allow leveraged/inverse ETFs that satisfy the rule’s conditions to operate without the expense and delay of obtaining an exemptive order. The Commission, accordingly, is rescinding certain exemptive relief that has been granted to these funds and their sponsors.


  5. SEC Release No. 33-10884 Facilitating Capital Formation and Expanding Investment Opportunities by Improving Access to Capital in Private Markets

    We are adopting amendments to facilitate capital formation and increase opportunities for investors by expanding access to capital for small and medium-sized businesses and entrepreneurs across the United States. Specifically, the amendments simplify, harmonize, and improve certain aspects of the exempt offering framework to promote capital formation while preserving or enhancing important investor protections. The amendments also seek to close gaps and reduce complexities in the exempt offering framework that may impede access to investment opportunities for investors and access to capital for businesses and entrepreneurs.


  6. FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-38 Registered Person Being Named a Customer’s Beneficiary or Holding a Position of Trust for a Customer

    FINRA adopted a new rule to limit any associated person of a member firm who is registered with FINRA (each a “registered person”) from being named a beneficiary, executor or trustee, or to have a power of attorney or similar position of trust for or on behalf of a customer. New FINRA Rule 3241 (Registered Person Being Named a Customer’s Beneficiary or Holding a Position of Trust for a Customer) protects investors by requiring all member firms to affirmatively address registered persons being named beneficiaries or holding positions of trusts for customers. The rule requires the member firm with which the registered person is associated, upon receiving required written notice from the registered person, to review and approve or disapprove the registered person assuming such status or acting in such capacity. The rule does not apply where the customer is a member of the registered person’s “immediate family.” Rule 3241 becomes effective February 15, 2021.


  7. SEC Release No. 34-90244 Customer Margin Rules Relating to Security Futures

    The Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the Securities and Exchange Commission are adopting rule amendments to lower the margin requirement for an unhedged security futures position from 20% to 15% and adopting certain conforming revisions to the security futures margin offset table.


  8. FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-37 The National Adjudicatory Council (NAC) Revises the Sanction Guidelines

    The NAC has revised the principal considerations in the Sanction Guidelines to expressly contemplate a customer’s age or physical or mental impairment that renders the individual unable to protect his or her own interests.


  9. SEC Release No. 33-10876 Qualifications of Accountants

    The Securities and Exchange Commission is adopting amendments to update certain auditor independence requirements. These amendments are intended to more effectively focus the independence analysis on those relationships or services that are more likely to pose threats to an auditor’s objectivity and impartiality.


  10. FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-36 FINRA Requests Comment on a Concept Proposal Regarding the Application of FINRA Rules to Security-Based Swaps

    FINRA requests comment on a concept proposal regarding the application of FINRA rules to security-based swaps (SBS) following the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) completion of its rulemaking regarding SBS dealers and major SBS participants. Current FINRA Rule 0180, which will expire in September 2021, provides a temporary exception from the application of FINRA rules to SBS, with certain limited exceptions. FINRA is considering revising Rule 0180 to replace the general exception from FINRA rules for members engaging in SBS activities with limited, targeted exceptions from certain FINRA rules where FINRA believes application of the rules to SBS activity is infeasible or inappropriate, particularly where members’ activities are subject to parallel SEC requirements. FINRA is also considering proposing certain modifications to its financial responsibility and operational rules to conform to the SEC’s amended net capital rule and take into account members’ SBS activities, as well as a new margin rule specifically applicable to SBS.


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