Resources/ Updates - April 2014

The SDDco Client Update

The SDDco Client Update is an action oriented email prepared in-house, tailored to client needs, and sent as an adjunct to our online newsletter.  Verified newsletter subscribers receive our Client Update once each month.

The SDDco Client Update is intended to provide general information only. It is not intended as, and should not be taken as, financial, tax, accounting, legal, consulting or any other type of advice specific to you or your firm. Users of the SDDco Client Update should not act or refrain from acting on the basis of information provided on the sddco.com website. Always check with your accountant and/or attorney.

Apr16

What’s in FINRA’s New, Consolidated Supervisory Rulebook?

FINRA broker-dealers are required to draft, implement, and maintain written supervisory procedures to supervise the activities of its members.  In line with FINRA’s rule consolidation mission, a new supervisory “rule book,” consolidating and codifying existing supervision guidance becomes effective on December 1, 2014. FINRA had attempted to adopt consolidated rules twice prior, in 2008 and

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Apr13

Give FINRA Feedback on Broker-Dealer Gifts, Grats, and No Cash Compensation Rules

To assess rule effectiveness and efficiency, FINRA is looking back at its conduct rules on broker-dealer gifts and gratuities and non-cash compensation.  FINRA asks for input based on a list of question prompts related to the use of these rules.  The comment period wraps up on May 8, 2014. Rule Sets under Review Gifts and gratuities and non-cash compensation conduct: FINRA Rule

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Apr11

FINRA’s Retrospective on Communication Rules ~ Want to Comment?

It’s not the retrospective that gathers a lifetime of works by an aging artist.  Rather it’s a gathering of opinions, FINRA style, on an old set of rules. FINRA is conducting a retrospective review of several communications with the public rules to assess their effectiveness and efficiency. Notice 14-14 Retrospective Rule Review  outlines the rule assessment

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Apr09

1st Quarter Filing Reminders for Broker-Dealers

FYI on the fast approaching due dates of those quarterly reports required of broker-dealers for the first quarter (which ended March 31, 2014): SEC Rule 17a-5 requires broker-dealers to send monthly and quarterly FOCUS reports within 17 business days of each quarter. FOCUS filings are due April 24, 2014 All broker-dealers must now file Form Custody

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Apr09

Municipal Issuers & Underwriters Can Take a Deal for Reporting & Plugging Disclosure Gaps

A new cooperation initiative, launched on March 10th by the Enforcement Division of the SEC, bates issuers and underwriters of municipal securities to self-report failures to satisfy continuing disclosure obligations rather than risk regulatory detection and more dire consequences. “Under the Municipalities Continuing Disclosure Cooperation (MCDC) Initiative, the Enforcement Division will recommend standardized, favorable settlement

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Apr07

When Can Advisers Use Client Testimony in Advertising?

The Division of Investment Management (“IM Staff”) explains and expands the use of social media reviews and other public testimonials for investment advisers. The goal of this new Q&A is to clarify if and when third-party commentary is permitted on an advisor’s website or in the firm’s printed material, and to assist advisers in developing

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Apr07

Probable Filing Changes under FINRA Communication Rule 2210

On March 24th, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) filed proposed rule changes with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)  regarding filing requirement changes for certain research reports and free writing prospectuses. FINRA proposed to amend FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public). First: to exclude research reports that concern only securities listed on a national securities

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Apr06

Independence Clarified for FCM/BD Audits

On March 28th, the Division of Swap Dealer and Intermediary Oversight (DSIO) of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission’s (CFTC) issued an interpretation on the auditor independence requirements under its Customer Protection Regulation 1.16 for CPAs conducting audits of futures commission merchants (FCMs) and dually registered FCM/broker-dealers. No Action Inquiry The no action inquiry, dated February 27,

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Apr05

The Increased Securities Transaction Fee

As of March 18, 2014, the Section 31 fee rate applied to specified securities transactions (on the exchanges and OTC markets) rose from $17.40 to $22.10 per million dollars in transactions.  This new rate stays until the later of September 30, 2014, or 60 days after a regular Fiscal Year 2015 appropriation enactment. Backfill About Section 31 Transaction Fees

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Apr04

What’s the Use of a Tax Payer App?

According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), 2.3 million users have downloaded or updated the IRS smartphone app IRS2Go 4.0. This new version was launched in early 2014 for the current filing season.   Along with the first IRS app launched in 2011, the total downloads and updates on Apple and Android devices of IRS2Go have passed 5.5 million. This

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Apr04

SEC Staff Posts Guidance on #SocialMediaFilings

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released detailed guidance related to certain e-communication and social media. After getting queries on whether “real time” content posted on social media (“interactive content”) should be subject to communication filing requirements, the Division of Investment Management (“Division”) of the SEC (“Staff”) gave some real world direction. This Division guidance refers to Section 24(b) of the

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Apr02

Joint Effort to Enhance Swaps Transparency

On March 31, 2014, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) Acting Chairman Mark Wetjen and Office of Financial Research (OFR)  Director Richard Berner announced their project to jointly “enhance the quality, types and formats of data collected from registered swap data repositories.” The signed “Memorandum of Understanding to Improve Data Quality” laid out a process

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Apr02

SEC Gave an A Plus ~ But Were Edits to Regulation A Enough?

Back in December 2013, the Security and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) released proposed amendments to Regulation A, a seldom used registration exemption for small public offerings of securities.   Section 401 of the JOBS Act of 2012 had mandated the SEC to amend Regulation A requirements, under section 3(b) of the Securities Act of 1933, to incentivize

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