FINRA is warning member firms of a new imposter website www.finnra.org (please notice the extra “n” in the domain name). One portion of the website contains a link to a registration site that is not legitimate (see images, below). In addition, it is possible bad actors could leverage the domain to send fake emails including those with imbedded phishing links or attachments containing malware. The domain of “finnra.org” is not connected to FINRA and firms should delete all emails originating from this domain name.
As previously noted in Regulatory Circular RC20-045, the equities and options exchanges operated by Cboe Exchange have adopted changes to the Exchanges’ Minor Rule Violation Plans to make Trading Permit Holder/Member violations of the Consolidated Audit trail (“CAT”) compliance rules (“CAT Compliance Rules”) eligible for disposition as a minor rule violation, when warranted. For failures to comply with the CAT Compliance Rule requirements, the Exchanges may impose a minor rule violation fine of up to $2,500. As with any minor rule violation, for more serious violations of the CAT Compliance Rule requirements, formal disciplinary action may be sought.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-26 FINRA Shares Practices Firms Implemented to Prepare for the LIBOR Phase-out
FINRA reminds firms to evaluate their exposure to LIBOR (formerly, the London Interbank Offered Rate), and review their preparedness to manage LIBOR’s phase-out. To understand how firms are preparing for that phase-out, FINRA surveyed a representative cross-section of member firms, including some firms with significant trading volume or positions in LIBOR-linked securities. This Notice provides a summary of the results of the survey.
Securities and Exchange Release No. 34-89394 Covered Broker-Dealer Provisions under Title II of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act
The Agencies, in accordance with section 205(h) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act (“Dodd-Frank Act”), are jointly adopting a final rule to implement provisions applicable to the orderly liquidation of covered brokers and dealers under Title II of the Dodd-Frank Act (“Title II”).
The SEC is adopting amendments to its rules governing proxy solicitations so that investors who use proxy voting advice receive more transparent, accurate, and complete information on which to make their voting decisions, without imposing undue costs or delays that could adversely affect the timely provision of proxy voting advice. The amendments add conditions to the availability of certain existing exemptions from the information and filing requirements of the Federal proxy rules that are commonly used by proxy voting advice businesses. These conditions require compliance with disclosure and procedural requirements, including conflicts of interest disclosures by proxy voting advice businesses and two principles-based requirements. The first principles-based requirement calls for proxy voting advice businesses to adopt written policies and procedures designed to ensure that the proxy voting advice is made available to registrants. The second principles-based requirement calls for proxy voting advice businesses to adopt written policies and procedures designed to ensure that they provide clients with a mechanism by which the clients can reasonably be expected to become aware of a registrant’s views about the proxy voting advice so that they can take such views into account as they vote proxies. Although the requirements are principles based, the amendments provide a non-exclusive list of methods, or safe harbors, that satisfy the conditions to the exemptions. In addition, the amendments codify the Commission’s interpretation that proxy voting advice generally constitutes a solicitation within the meaning of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Finally, the amendments clarify when the failure to disclose certain information in proxy voting advice may be considered misleading within the meaning of the antifraud provision of the proxy rules, depending upon the particular facts and circumstances
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-25 FINRA Amends Arbitration Codes to Apply Minimum Fees to Requests for Expungement of Customer Dispute Information
FINRA has amended its Codes of Arbitration Procedure for Customer and Industry Disputes (Codes) to apply minimum fees to requests for expungement of customer dispute information, whether the request is made as part of the customer arbitration or the associated person files an expungement request in a separate arbitration (straight-in request). The amendments also apply a minimum process fee and member surcharge to straight-in requests, as well as a minimum hearing session fee to expungement-only hearings. The amendments are effective for cases filed on or after September 14, 2020.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-24 FINRA Requests Comment on Proposed Changes to TRACE Reporting Relating to Delayed Treasury Spot and Portfolio Trades
FINRA requests comment on two proposed changes to the TRACE reporting rules that were recommended by the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Fixed Income Market Structure Advisory Committee. The proposed changes would require firms to: (1) identify corporate bond trades where the price of the trade is based on a spread to a benchmark Treasury security that was agreed upon earlier in the day (i.e., a “delayed Treasury spot trade”) and report the time at which the spread was agreed upon; and (2) identify corporate bond trades that are a part of a larger portfolio trade.
FINRA Regulatory Notice 20-23 FINRA Encourages Firms to Notify FINRA if They Engage in Activities Related to Digital Assets
For the past two years, FINRA has encouraged firms to keep their Risk Monitoring Analyst (formerly known as a “Regulatory Coordinator”) informed if the firm, or its associated persons or affiliates, engaged, or intended to engage, in activities related to digital assets, including digital assets that are non-securities. FINRA appreciates members’ cooperation with this request and is encouraging firms to continue to keep their Risk Monitoring Analyst abreast of their activities related to digital assets until July 31, 2021.
Cboe Exchange is issuing this Regulatory Circular to remind Trading Permit Holders and Members that effective July 10, 2020, the Options Exchanges will (i) restrict usage of the BOE Bulk Quoting ports to Options Market Makers only, and (ii) require that Options Market Maker bulk message quotes sent to the Options Exchanges include quote sent times.(See Exchange Notices C2020062900 and C2020033009 for technical details.) The requirement to include quote sent times in the SendTime field on Options Market Maker bulk message quotes is being implemented in connection with Consolidated Audit Trail (“CAT”) reporting requirements.
SR-NASDAQ-2020-034 The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change to Amend Nasdaq Rules 6130 and IM-6200-1
The purpose of the proposed rule changes under Nasdaq Rule 6130 (Nasdaq Kill Switch) and IM-6200-1 (Risk Settings) are to provide Participants with additional optional settings in order to assist them in their efforts to manage their risk levels. Once the optional risk controls are set, the Exchange is authorized to take automated action if a designated risk level for a Participant is exceeded. Such risk settings would provide Participants with enhanced abilities to manage their risk with respect to orders on the Exchange.
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