The Senior Safe Act: “Immunity” with Conditions

On May 23, 2019, the SEC, NASAA, and FINRA published a year-end review of the Senior Safe Act which became federal law one year ago. In doing so, they also issued a Fact Sheet to help raise awareness with financial institutions and describe how the Act’s immunity provisions work.

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FINRA Releases Two Unscripted AML Podcasts

During the months of April and May 2019, FINRA introduced a new AML podcast. FINRA’s unscripted podcast explained the importance of a solid AML program, its importance to the overall industry, and best practices. Blake Snyder and Jason Foye of FINRA’s AML investigative unit were the guest speakers.

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Custody for Private Fund Advisers

If you are an adviser to a private fund (i.e. hedge fund or pooled investment vehicle), do you know if you are deemed to have custody? If so, is your Form ADV Part I completed correctly?

Since there is a significant increase in compliance responsibilities for firms that have custody of client funds and/or securities, it’s critical that you consider whether or not your firm will be deemed to have custody.

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FINRA Rule 2111: Quantitative Suitability

Welcome to the third and final part in our series on the three main suitability obligations outlined in FINRA Rule 2111 (Suitability). As with our earlier posts, “FINRA Rule 2111: Reasonable-Basis Suitability” and “FINRA Rule 2111: Customer-Specific Suitability”, we will begin with a brief overview of the three main suitability obligations imposed on broker-dealers and their associated persons; then, this particular blog will focus in on Quantitative Suitability.

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FINRA Rule 2111: Customer-Specific Suitability

This post is the second in our three-part series on the three separate and distinct suitability obligations outlined in FINRA Rule 2111 (Suitability). As with our previous post, “FINRA Rule 2111: Reasonable-Basis Suitability”, we will begin with a brief overview of the three main suitability obligations imposed on broker-dealers and their registered representatives; then, this particular blog will focus in on Customer-Specific Suitability.

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FINRA Rule 2111: Reasonable-Basis Suitability

Although suitability is a well-established principle within the securities industry, broker-dealers and their registered representatives sometimes forget that FINRA Rule 2111 (Suitability) has three separate and distinct suitability obligations. We will begin with an overview of all three main suitability obligations. Then, we will be going in-depth on these areas across three different blogs; this particular blog will focus in on Reasonable-Basis Suitability.

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SEC Adopts Amendments to Rule 15c2-12 to Improve Municipal Securities Disclosure

In August 2018, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) announced that it has adopted amendments to Rule 15c2-12 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended (the “Exchange Act”), in an effort to enhance transparency in the municipal securities market. The SEC has stated that the commission believes the amendments will provide[…]

Guidance on Third-Party Recordkeeping Services and SEA Rule 17a-4

As you may remember from our earlier post on the subject, under SEA Rules 17a-3 and 17a-4, a broker-dealer is required to make and keep books and records relating to its business and may maintain and preserve records by means of “electronic storage media.” The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) recently released guidance in response to a letter received from FINRA regarding contractual arrangements between broker-dealers and third-party recordkeeping service providers – more specifically, contractual arrangements that include provisions permitting the third-party recordkeeping service providers to delete or discard the broker-dealer’s records, typically due to non-payment by the broker-dealer of fees due under the contract.  FINRA recapped the guidance received from the SEC in its Regulatory Notice 18-31.

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Customer Identification Program (CIP): Common Questions – Part II

[Continued from Customer Identification Program (CIP): Common Questions – Part I]

What Is A “Reasonable Time” To Verify Customers’ Identities?

A customer’s identity must be verified within a “reasonable time” before or after the customer’s account is opened. The rule does not specify what counts as a “reasonable time,” and the Adopting Release for the Broker-Dealer CIP Rule emphasizes that broker-dealers must be reasonably flexible when undertaking such verification. The broker-dealer must be able to undertake verification before or after an account if opened, as the amount of time needed may depend on various factors, which is part of the firm’s risk assessment.  A firm’s CIP procedures must enable the broker-dealer to form a reasonable belief that it knows the true identity of each customer. Read More…

Customer Identification Program (CIP): Common Questions – Part I

In our previous post on customer identification programs, “Customer Identification Program (CIP): Definitions and Requirements,” we defined “account” and “customer” and went over the minimum requirements for CIP procedures and verification, including touching on non-documentary means of identity verification. This post will get a little more specific, addressing common questions firms have when developing and implementing their customer identification programs. Read More…