Financial Industry Regulatory Authority 

FINRA reveals 2018 regulatory and exam priorities. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority published its 2018 Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, which outlines the new and ongoing areas of focus that FINRA will concentrate on this year. Among other topics, FINRA will prioritize fraud; high-risk firms and brokers; market regulation; and operational and financial risks. (1/8/2018) FINRA press release. 

FINRA proposes amendments to liquidity reporting and notification rules. FINRA requested comments on proposed amendments to FINRA Rule 4521 (Notifications, Questionnaires and Reports) that would require certain member firms to notify FINRA within 48 hours after specified events that may signal an adverse change in liquidity risk. FINRA also proposed a new Supplemental Liquidity Schedule (SLS) that member firms with the largest customer and counterparty exposures would file as a supplement to the FOCUS Report. Comments are due on or before March 8, 2018. (1/8/2018) FINRA Regulatory Notice 18-02. 

FINRA guidance on rules to prevent financial exploitation of seniors. FINRA published guidance regarding newly-adopted rules by FINRA relating to the financial exploitation of seniors and other vulnerable adults. (1/3/2018) FINRA FAQs. 

FINRA reminds firms of due date for renewal fees. FINRA reminded firms that the renewal fees as determined by their Final Statement are due on or before January 22, 2018. (1/2/2018) FINRA Regulatory Notice 18-01. 

FINRA announces availability of New TRACE data products. FINRA announced the details of the End-of-Day TRACE Transaction File and the TRACE Security Activity Report, two new Trade Reporting and Compliance Engine data products that will be available beginning on February 1, 2018. (1/2/2018) FINRA Technical Notice. 

FINRA alerts investors to potential cryptocurrency-related stock scams. FINRA issued an alert to investors warning them of potential stock scams related to cryptocurrency-related investments touting high returns. (12/21/2017) FINRA press release. 

FINRA Board of Governors meeting. FINRA summarized the discussions of its Board of Governors at its final meeting of 2017. Among other things, the FINRA Board approved FINRA’s 2018 budget and updated Financial Guiding Principles, authorized an initiative to modernize FINRA’s registration system, and approved advancing several rule proposals. (12/20/2017) FINRA press release. 

FINRA publishes election results and appointments to SFAB, NAC and District Committees.  FINRA announced the results of recent elections to fill openings on the Small Firm Advisory Board, National Adjudicatory Council and District Committees, as well as the individuals appointed by FINRA to fill other vacancies. (12/15/2017) FINRA Election Notice. 

FINRA proposes amendments to procedures for expungement of customer dispute information. FINRA requested comments on proposed amendments to its framework for the expungement of customer dispute information. Comments are due on or before February 5, 2018. (12/6/2017) FINRA Regulatory Notice 17-42. 

FINRA publishes guidance on short interest reporting. FINRA reminded firms that maintain positions in master/sub-accounts or parent/child accounts that they must calculate and report short interest based on the short position in each sub- or child account, pursuant to requirements under FINRA Rule 4560 to report short positions in each individual firm or customer account on a gross basis. (12/6/2017) FINRA Regulatory Notice 17-43. 

FINRA examination findings report. FINRA issued a report that highlights selected observations from its examinations of broker-dealers in an effort to help firms strengthen their compliance and supervisory programs. (12/6/2017) FINRA report. 

Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board 

MSRB seeks applicants for Board of Directors. The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is soliciting applications from qualified applicants to fill five positions on its Board of Directors for terms beginning October 1, 2018. Applications are due on or before February 16, 2018. (1/8/2018) MSRB press release. 

MSRB issues reminder on regulatory obligations related to filtering of offers and bids. The MSRB reminded municipal securities dealers regarding their responsibilities related to filtering out bids on an alternative trading system and offers from certain dealers when they transact municipal securities. (1/3/2018) MSRB press release. 

MSRB amends CUSIP number requirements. The MSRB announced that the SEC approved its proposal to amend its rule on obtaining CUSIP numbers, which will extend the requirement to obtain a CUSIP number to municipal securities dealers acting as placement agents in private placements of municipal securities and to non-dealer municipal advisors when advising on a competitive transaction in municipal securities. The amended rule will become effective on June 14, 2018. (12/15/2017) MSRB press release. 

Amendments to MSRB Form G-45 are approved by the SEC. The MSRB announced that it has received approval from the SEC to amend electronic Form G-45 under MSRB Rule G-45, on reporting of information on municipal fund securities, in an effort to collect additional data about the transactional fees primarily assessed by programs established to implement the Stephen Beck, Jr. Achieving a Better Life Experience Act of 2014. (12/8/2017)

MSRB announces 2018 Town Hall meetings. The MSRB will hold a series of Town Hall meetings in 2018 aimed at enhancing engagement with municipal market stakeholders and generating ideas to inform the MSRB’s current priorities and long-term strategic initiatives. (12/7/2017) MSRB press release. 

National Futures Association 

NFA reminds members of affirmation requirements for exempt CPOs and CTAs. The National Futures Association notified members that they will not be in violation of NFA by-laws if they conduct customer business between January 1 and March 31, 2018, with a person previously exempt from commodity pool operator or commodity trading advisor registration who fails to comply with the affirmation requirement or to register with the NFA, as long as they take reasonable steps to determine the registration and membership status of previously exempt persons. (1/9/2018) NFA Notice I-18-01. 

NFA annual meeting and elections. The NFA will hold its Annual Meeting of Members on February 6, 2018, and will conduct elections for its Board and Nominating Committee in January. (12/28/2017) NFA Notice I-17-31. 

NFA prepares swap dealers for new swap valuation and risk data reporting requirements. The NFA reminded members that new requirements on the types of swap valuation disputes that must be reported under CFTC Regulation 23.502(c) and the information that swap dealers are required to report electronically to the NFA will be effective for dispute notices filed on or after January 2, 2018. Swap dealers will also be required to file the first risk data report as of December 29, 2017, by January 31, 2018. (12/19/2017) NFA Notice I-17-30. 

NFA announces increase in assessment fee. The NFA announced that its assessment fee for futures and options contracts will increase from $0.01 per side to $0.02 per side, effective January 1, 2018. (12/6/2017) NFA Notice I-17-25.