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.
MSRB Regulatory Notice 2020-04 MSRB to Enhance Transparency of Timing of Issuers' Annual Disclosures on the EMMA Website
The MSRB received approval from the SEC on February 18, 2020 to amend the information facility of the MSRB’sElectronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) system (the “EMMA IF”). The amendments to the EMMA IF approved by the SEC provide for certain enhancements to the free EMMA website (emma.msrb.org) (the “EMMA Portal”) that will improve transparency in the municipal securities market, including by providing information regarding the timing of annual financial information for a municipal security.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-05 FINRA Requests Comment on a Proposal to Implement the Recommendations of the CE Council Regarding Enhancements to the Continuing Education Program for Securities Industry Professionals
FINRA seeks comment on a proposal to implement the recommendations of the Securities Industry/Regulatory Council on Continuing Education (CE Council) enhancing the continuing education requirements for securities industry professionals. The proposal would change the: (1) Regulatory Element to provide annual training, make the content more relevant, incorporate diverse instructional formats, publicize the learning topics in advance and enhance the related management systems; (2) Firm Element to expressly recognize other training requirements, improve the guidance and resources available to firms and establish a content catalog; and (3) Continuing Education Program to enable individuals who terminate their registrations the option of maintaining their qualification by completing continuing education.
Cboe Regulatory Circular 20-007 Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program and Filing Requirements for Certain Trading Permit Holders
As a reminder, in accordance with Cboe Exchange, Inc. (“Cboe Options”)/Cboe C2 Exchange, Inc. (“C2 Options”) Rule 8.12, Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Program, each Trading Permit Holder (“TPH”) organization and each TPH not associated with a TPH organization shall develop and implement a written anti-money laundering program reasonably designed to achieve and monitor compliance with the requirements of the Bank Secrecy Act, and the implementing regulations promulgated thereunder by the Department of Treasury. Please refer to Rule 8.12 for additional information on AML program requirements.
MSRB Regulatory Notice 2020-03 MSRB Establishes Compliance Date for Revised Interpretive Notice of Underwriters’ Fair Dealing Obligations to Issuers
The MSRB established a compliance date of November 30, 2020 for its amended and restated guidance regarding the fair dealing obligations underwriters owe to issuers of municipal securities under MSRB Rule G-17, on conduct of municipal securities and municipal advisory activities (the “Revised Interpretive Notice”). The SEC approved the Revised Interpretive Notice on November 6, 2019. The Revised Interpretive Notice incorporates various amendments to the MSRB’s 2012 Interpretive Notice. The MSRB reminds brokers, dealers and municipal securities dealers of these amendments and encourages them to review the Revised Interpretive Notice in its entirety in advance of the November 30, 2020 compliance date.
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