Financial Industry Regulatory Authority

FINRA Amends Definition of “Hearing Officer”

On August 6th, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) announced the amendment of the definition of “Hearing Officer” to include a former FINRA employee who previously acted as a Hearing Officer and who is a licensed attorney. Based on the amended definition, the Chief Hearing Officer may appoint a former employee of FINRA who previously acted as a Hearing Officer to act in an adjudicative role and fulfill the various adjudicative responsibilities and duties of a Hearing Officer described in the Code of Procedure. The implementation date of the amended definition is August 12, 2014. FINRA Regulatory Notice 14-32.

International Securities Exchange

Bid/Offer Differentials for In-The-Money Option Series

On August 1st, the SEC approved the International Securities Exchange’s and ISE Gemini’s separately submitted proposals to amend their respective rules to require that market makers quoting certain in-the-money options series maintain quotes that are no wider than the spread between the national best bid and offer in the underlying security.

International Swaps and Derivatives Association

Reporting Delegation Agreement

On August 8th, the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) published the ISDA Reporting Delegation Agreement. The document is intended to help market participants meet their reporting obligations by providing a bilateral standard form of reporting a delegation agreement whereby a reporting delegate may, on the client’s behalf, report relevant data to a trade repository. Jurisdiction-specific provisions are contained in each part of the Schedule. ISDA Press Release.

Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board

Amendments Regarding Activities of Limited Representatives Approved

On August 1st, the SEC approved the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board’s proposed amendments to Rule G- 3, on classification of principals and representatives, numerical requirements, testing, and continuing education requirements; Rule G-7, on information concerning associated persons; and Rule G-27, on supervision. SEC Release No. 34-72743.

NASDAQ OMX Group

Disapproval Proceedings Instituted for In-Crowd Priority Proposal

On August 4th, the SEC instituted proceedings to determine whether to approve or disapprove NASDAQ OMX PHLX’s proposal to revise the priority afforded to in-crowd participants respecting crossing, facilitation, and solicited orders in open outcry trading. Comments should be submitted within 21 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly. Rebuttals should be submitted within 35 days. SEC Release No. 34- 72751.

NYSE

New Data Feed Proposed

On August 4th, the SEC provided notice of the New York Stock Exchange’s filing of a proposal that would establish the NYSE BQT data feed. The NYSE BQT data feed would provide a unified view of best bid and offer and last sale information for the Exchange and its affiliates, NYSE Arca Equities, Inc. and NYSE MKT LLC. Comments should be submitted within 21 days after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly. SEC Release No. 34-72750.

The Options Clearing Corporation

Changes to Clearing Fund Proposed

On August 4th, the SEC provided notice of The Options Clearing Corporation’s filing of a proposed amendment. The amendment would permit The Options Clearing Corporation to increase the size of its clearing fund intra- month based upon observed changes in their projected exposure and on an emergency basis. In addition, the proposed change provides that under certain circumstances The Options Clearing Corporation will increase a clearing member’s required contribution to the clearing fund intra-month. Comments should be submitted within 21 day after publication in the Federal Register, which is expected shortly. SEC Release No. 34-72752.