What: The proposed rule would require some investment advisers to apply certain anti-money-laundering and countering […]
As the regulatory landscape is constantly evolving, Compliance Risk Concepts (“CRC”) is issuing its monthly review and summary of FINRA, SEC, and NFA notices and bulletins to assist our clients in keeping abreast of notable regulatory developments and deadlines in an effort to strengthen their compliance and regulatory initiatives.
Per Regulatory Notice 23-11, FINRA is soliciting comment on a concept proposal to establish liquidity risk management requirements. The concept proposal describes a potential rule, labeled Rule 4610, that is intended to ensure that members have sufficient liquid assets to meet their funding needs in both normal and stressed conditions. Broadly, the proposal outlines three areas where a potential rule might address liquidity risk, including liquidity stress testing, contingent funding plans and a requirement to maintain sufficient liquidity on a current basis at all times. FINRA is issuing this concept proposal so that any feedback received can be taken into account as FINRA considers a proposed rule; any proposed rule would need to be reviewed and approved by the FINRA Board of Governors, and then filed with and approved by the Securities and Exchange Commission. FINRA welcomes comment on all aspects of the concept proposal, including comment on alternatives to the proposed approach.
The draft text of potential Rule 4610 is included as Attachment A.
There were no Special Notices in June.
Per Release No. 34-97656, the SEC is adopting a final rule, under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Exchange Act”), that is designed to prevent fraud, manipulation, and deception in connection with effecting any transaction in, or attempting to effect any transaction in, or purchasing or selling, or inducing or attempting to induce the purchase or sale of, any security-based swap. The rule takes into account the features fundamental to a security-based swap and the broad definitions of purchase and sale under the Exchange Act as they relate to security-based swaps. In addition, the Commission is adopting a final rule, under the Exchange Act, that makes it unlawful for any officer, director, supervised person, or employee of a security-based swap dealer (“SBSD”) or major security-based swap participant (“MSBSP”) (each SBSD and each MSBSP also referred to as an “SBS Entity” and together referred to as “SBS Entities”), or any person acting under such person’s direction, to directly or indirectly take any action to coerce, manipulate, mislead, or fraudulently influence the SBS Entity’s chief compliance officer (“CCO”) in the performance of their duties under the Federal securities laws or the rules and regulations thereunder.
Per Release No. 34-97657, the SEC is adopting rule amendments to implement section 939A(b) of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 (“Dodd-Frank Act”), which requires, among other things, that the SEC remove from its regulations any references to credit ratings and substitute in their place alternative standards of creditworthiness. The amendments remove certain existing rule exceptions that reference credit ratings for nonconvertible debt securities, nonconvertible preferred securities, and asset-backed securities and substitute in their place new exceptions that are based on alternative standards of creditworthiness. These substitutes include exceptions for nonconvertible debt securities and nonconvertible preferred securities (together, “Nonconvertible Securities”) of issuers who meet a specified probability of default threshold, as well as exceptions for asset-backed securities that are offered pursuant to an effective shelf registration statement filed on a certain form that is tailored to asset-backed securities offerings. The SEC is also adopting an amendment to a recordkeeping rule applicable to broker-dealers in connection with their reliance on an exception involving probability of default determinations.
Per Release No. 33-11205, the SEC is adopting amendments to Volume II of the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval system (“EDGAR”) Filer Manual (“Filer Manual”) and related rules and forms. EDGAR Release 23.2 will be deployed in the EDGAR system on June 20, 2023.
Per Release No. 34-97762, the SEC is reopening the comment period for its proposal, Position Reporting of Large Security-Based Swap Positions, Release No. 34-93784, (Dec. 15, 2021) (“Proposing Release”). In the Proposing Release, the SEC proposed for comment a new rule, which would require any person with a security-based swap position that exceeds a certain threshold to promptly file with the SEC a schedule disclosing certain information related to its security-based swap position (“Proposed Rule”). The SEC is reopening the comment period to allow interested persons an opportunity to comment on the additional analysis and data contained in a staff memorandum that was added to the public comment file on June 20, 2023, including providing comment on questions identified below.
Interim Final Rules
There were no interim final rules in June.
There were no interpretive releases in June.
There were no policy statements in June.
Notices to Members
June 5, 2023
Information regarding NFA's upcoming move to new Chicago office space
NFA's Chicago headquarters will move to a new location next week. Effective Monday, June 12th, NFA will be located at 320 South Canal, Suite 2400, Chicago, IL 60606. All mail sent to NFA after June 12th should be sent to the new address.
June 29, 2023
Effective date of amendments to NFA's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to implement changes to NFA's governance structure
The CFTC recently approved amendments to NFA's Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws to implement the recommendations of an NFA Board of Directors-appointed Special Committee on NFA Governance. The amendments, which are effective February 15, 2024, will:
NFA's Board unanimously approved these amendments at its November 17, 2022, meeting. In accordance with Article XVII, the proposed amendments to NFA's Articles were submitted to a ballot vote of NFA Members, and on February 14, 2023, Corporate Election Services, an external tabulation service overseeing the ballot process, certified that Members voted in favor of the amendments.
NFA's March 13, 2023, submission letter to the CFTC contains more detailed information regarding these amendments.
There were no NFA news releases in June.
Off-channel communications continue to be a hot issue with the SEC with the potential for significant enforcement consequences.
In May, the SEC charged HSBC Securities (USA) Inc. and Scotia Capital (USA) Inc. for widespread and longstanding failures by both firms and their employees to maintain and preserve electronic communications. To settle the charges, HSBC and Scotia agreed to pay penalties of $15 million and $7.5 million, respectively. As described in the SEC’s orders, the firms admitted that their employees often communicated “off-channel” about securities business matters on their personal devices, using messaging platforms, such as WhatsApp. Neither firm maintained or preserved the substantial majority of these communications, in violation of the federal securities laws. The failings involved employees at multiple levels of authority, including supervisors and senior executives.
Regulators continue to demonstrate their commitment to protecting investors by aggressively pursuing bad actors and reviewing and updating regulations to guard investors against constantly evolving threats.
The best approach to regulatory compliance is a proactive one. Staying ahead of the curve by taking note of statements and guidance released by regulators and using them as a barometer to assess the current regulatory climate can help ensure that a firm is prepared for a regulatory exam. Rather than scrambling to rectify issues or meet deadlines, a thorough, active compliance program that considers and incorporates regulatory developments is in a better position to satisfy regulators and preserve operations so they can best serve their clients.
For more information, please contact:
p. (646) 346-2468
p. (917) 568-6470
NFA Notice to Members