AML and Branch Audits

AML and Branch Audits in the Time of COVID-19

At the beginning of the year, FINRA released important updates related to supervision requirements for broker-dealers. As broker-dealers and their employees started experiencing various work-from-home, virtual meeting, and operations challenges, FINRA provided valuable guidance for the transition in a FAQ related to the coronavirus pandemic. Below are a few items where FINRA has provided areas Read more about AML and Branch Audits in the Time of COVID-19[…]

Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity in the Time of COVID-19

For many firms, a remote workforce is now a new reality. Even with many states’ shelter-in-place restrictions lifting, firms are continuing with their work-from-home strategies for the majority of their staff. This transition and the related challenges have forced firms to re-evaluate their current cybersecurity and remote policies and procedures. The following considerations are important to ensure that your remote staff has the tools in place to adhere to regulatory rules, firm procedures, and best practices.

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Code of Ethics

Code of Ethics Concerns During COVID-19 and Beyond

COVID-19 has bought a “new normal”. From stay-at-home orders and teleworking requirements to market volatility, consumer worry, and delayed public disclosure, the face of the industry will be forever changed. In light of this, Registered Investment Advisor compliance departments should consider reviewing the landscape of the Code of Ethics requirements.

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Compliance Surveillance

Compliance Surveillance Trends During COVID-19

The messages are clear. Sales practice concerns, fraud, and operational issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic have arrived. Compliance professionals who are responsible for the surveillance and review of targeted areas of the compliance program should understand what may be coming down the pipe and ensure that their programs are sufficiently flexible to identify potential red flags.

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regulatory exam

Regulatory Exam Preparedness and COVID-19

Your firm is beginning to get in the groove since the shelter-in-place orders have been implemented. In the past, you have worked from home on certain days, but the transition to full-time teleworking, homeschooling, and pet sitting has been a challenging reality. Then surprise! You get a call from your regulatory coordinator that FINRA or the SEC has decided to conduct a regulatory exam of your firm starting now.

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Communications surveillance

Communications Surveillance Challenges While Teleworking

As firms continue executing work from home policies, they should consider crucial factors related to potential challenges and changes needed to their communications surveillance program. As more employees are working on personal devices, spending more time on social media, and conducting business in this new reality, regulations on building a compliant communications program are even more important now.

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FINRA Conference Call Part 2

Highlights from FINRA Small Firm Conference Call: Part 2

Earlier this month, FINRA hosted a Small Firm Conference Call to discuss updates and implications of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). If you were not able to listen to the call live, a replay recording is available on demand. This recording provides and discusses many highlights noted in the FAQs Related to Coronavirus Pandemic.

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FINRA

Highlights from FINRA Small Firm Conference Call: Part 1

Earlier this month, FINRA hosted a Small Firm Conference Call to discuss updates and implications of COVID-19 (Coronavirus). If you were not able to listen to the call live, a replay recording is available on demand. This recording provides and discusses many highlights noted in FINRA’s FAQs Related to Coronavirus Pandemic.

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Supervision

Supervision Relief Related to COVID-19 Pandemic

FINRA Rule 3110 Supervision requires a firm to establish and maintain a system to supervise the activities of its associated persons. Furthermore, the supervisory process seeks to achieve compliance with the applicable securities laws and regulations and FINRA rules.

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AML and Suitability

AML and Suitability Challenges During COVID-19

FINRA Rule 3310 provides broker-dealer guidance on how to design, test, and enforce a firm’s Anti-Money Laundering Program (“AML”). One main element of AML is to “establish and implement policies and procedures that can be reasonably expected to detect and cause the reporting of transactions required under 31 U.S.C. 5318(g) and the implementing regulations thereunder.” FINRA Notice to Members 19-10 identified a key list of red flags that may be used to help identify suspicious activity in trading, money movements, insurance, and securities.

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