United States 

Tax Act guidance does not give companies more time to make changes. President Trump signed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act into law and the SEC published staff guidance to help publicly traded companies, auditors, and others guarantee that disclosure of the accounting effects of the act is done in a timely manner. According to CFO, the guidance fails to give companies more time to make changes, other than what is available through their normal reporting periods. (12/22/2017) 

New SEC commissioners confirmed by the Senate. The Wall Street Journalreported on the Senate’s confirmation of Democrat Robert Jackson, a professor at Columbia University, and Republican Hester Peirce, a senior research fellow at George Mason University, as SEC commissioners. As a professor, Mr. Jackson petitioned the SEC to require that public companies disclose their political expenditures. Ms. Peirce, a lawyer and former staff member of the Senate Banking Committee, is a prominent Dodd-Frank critic. (12/22/2017) See also SEC statement on confirmation of new commissioners


OSC adopts final rule for distributions outside Canada. The OSC announcedthat it has adopted OSC Rule 72-503 - Distributions Outside Canada, including Form 72-503F Report of Distributions Outside Canada and Companion Policy 72-503 Distributions Outside Canada. This Final Rule adoption replaces Interpretation Note 1 Distributions of Securities Outside of Ontario, and is intended to bring greater certainty to cross-border activities in Ontario. (12/21/2017)   

Statement on recent media coverage on enforcement in capital markets. The CSA issued a statement in response to recent media commentary from multiple Globe and Mail reports on enforcement in Canada’s capital markets. (12/19/2017)   

CSA reminds investors of inherent risks associated with cryptocurrency futures contracts. The CSA reminded dealers and investors of the inherent risks associated with products linked to cryptocurrencies, including futures contracts. The CSA noted that, while these contracts may be traded on regulated exchanges and may be cleared by regulated central counterparties, their high level of risk will not be suitable for all types of investors. (12/18/2017)   

Notice on complying with requirements regarding the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments. The Canadian Securities Administrators, Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, and Mutual Fund Dealers Association of Canada announced their release of a joint notice, CSA Staff Notice 31-351, IIROC Notice 17-0229, MFDA Bulletin #0736-M Complying with requirements regarding the Ombudsman for Banking Services and Investments (OBSI). The notice highlights concerns about some registered firms’ complaint handling systems and participation in OBSI’s services, and sets out potential regulatory responses. The notice also outlines staff’s concerns regarding the use of an internal “ombudsman” as part of complaint handling systems. (12/7/2017)