The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) received approval from the SEC on June 25, 2020 of amendments to MSRB rules that align MSRB rules to the Commission’s recently adopted Rule 15l-1 under the Exchange Act (“Regulation Best Interest”).
FINRA Information Notice 6/25/20 FINRA Gateway–Changes to Form U4 User Interface and Access to Continuing Education
FINRA’s Digital Experience Transformation is changing the way that firms and their personnel access and interact with FINRA’s systems and complete their compliance and regulatory tasks. This Information Notice highlights near-term changes to the manner in which firms and their personnel access, and interact with, FINRA’s registration and continuing education applications and provides relevant dates when FINRA anticipates those changes will occur. As discussed below, some of these changes will require registered persons (and persons seeking registration) to exclusively use FINRA’s Financial Professional Gateway (FinPro).
Securities and Exchange Release no. BHCA-9 Prohibitions and Restrictions on Proprietary Trading and Certain Interests in, and Relationships With, Hedge Funds and Private Equity Funds
The OCC, Board, FDIC, SEC, and CFTC (together, the agencies) are adopting amendments to the regulations implementing section 13 of the Bank Holding Company Act (BHC Act). Section 13 contains certain restrictions on the ability of a banking entity or nonbank financial company supervised by the Board to engage in proprietary trading and have certain interests in, or relationships with, a hedge fund or private equity fund (covered funds). These final amendments are intended to improve and streamline the regulations implementing section 13 of the BHC Act by modifying and clarifying requirements related to the covered fund provisions of the rules.
MSRB Regulatory Notice 2020-12 MSRB Enhances 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’s Electronic 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. Today the MSRB announces that the operative date for the enhancements will be July 1, 2020.
Cboe Regulatory Circular 20-041 Open Outcry Order Entry and Reporting Procedures During an Exchange System Outage
Cboe Exchange, Inc. is issuing this Regulatory Circular to notify Trading Permit Holders (“TPHs”) of the order entry and reporting procedures for open outcry orders in the event the Exchange experiences a system malfunction or disruption of its systems that impacts the trading floor. In addition, the Exchange recently added new functionality on the PAR workstation to permit TPHs to manually enter open outcry execution time(s) on trade records during a PAR outage (“PAR Outage functionality”).
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-18 FINRA Amends Its Suitability, Non-Cash Compensation and Capital Acquisition Broker (CAB) Rules in Response to Regulation Best Interest
FINRA has amended its suitability rule, Capital Acquisition Broker (CAB) suitability rule and rules governing non-cash compensation to provide clarity on which standard applies and to address potential inconsistencies with the SEC’s Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI). These changes have been approved by the SEC and become effective on June 30, 2020, the compliance date of Reg BI.
Cboe Exchange, Inc. is issuing this circular to highlight certain Exchange requirements regarding equipment and communications on the trading floor in anticipation of reopening of the floor on June 15, 2020. The circular replaces Regulatory Circular 15-115. Please see Cboe Rule 5.81, Equipment and Communications on the Trading Floor, for a complete description of its requirements.
This Regulatory Circular is to remind Cboe Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange”) Trading Permit Holders (“TPHs”) and associated persons and employees of TPHs of the provisions of Exchange Rule 13.15, Imposition of Fines for Minor Rule Violations, relating to violations of the Exchange's trading conduct and decorum policies under Exchange Rule 5.80, Admission to and Conduct on the Trading Floor.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-17 FINRA Revises Rule 4530 Problem Codes for Reporting Customer Complaints and for Filing Documents Online
FINRA is adding two new Rule 4530 Problem Codes related to SEC Regulation Best Interest (Reg BI) and Form CRS, and making related amendments to the existing Rule 4530 Problem Code related to suitability. Starting on July 18, 2020, firms can use new Problem Code 16–Reg BI and new Problem Code 17–Form CRS, when applicable, to report customer complaint information and required documents filed under Rules 4530(f) and (g). In addition, FINRA is retiring Rule 4530 Problem Code 69–DOL Fiduciary Rule and making other non-substantive stylistic changes to the Problem Codes.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-16 FINRA Shares Practices Implemented by Firms to Transition to, and Supervise in, a Remote Work Environment During the COVID-19 Pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic significantly affected firms’ day-to-day operations across the securities industry, including requiring firms to transition most or all their staff to remote work environments and implement remote supervisory practices. FINRA is committed to providing guidance, updates and other information to help firms and stakeholders stay informed about the latest regulatory developments relating to COVID-19, which can be found on FINRA’s COVID-19/Coronavirus Topic Page, as well as in recent Notices issued to address COVID-19-related fraud, cybersecurity threats and other emerging issues. As part of that effort, we prepared this Notice to share common themes FINRA observed through discussions with small, mid-size and large firms about the steps they reported taking to transition their associated persons and supervisory procedures to a remote work environment. This Notice does not represent a comprehensive inventory of all possible approaches taken by firms, nor does it include exam findings or effective practices because we have not evaluated these practices in our examination program.
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