Resources/ Updates - January 2017

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.

Jan31

Municipal Advisors to Follow Revised Customer Complaint Rules

Revised MSRB customer complaint and related recordkeeping rules were approved by the SEC on January 27, 2017. These revisions become effective on October 13, 2017. The MSRB issued a regulatory notice to members. Customer Complaint Rules Changes The MSRB: Extended its customer complaint recordkeeping requirements to all municipal advisors, including non-solicitor and solicitor municipal advisors. Amended

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Jan29

Investor Brush-up on Money Market Funds

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy issued an Investor Bulletin to help educate investors about money market funds, highlighting the objectives and risks. Money Market Funds Explained Investors utilize money market funds to store cash or as an alternative to investing in the stock market. Money Market Funds: Are a type of mutual fund with

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Jan28

SEC Updates FAQs on Form PF for RIAs

The SEC’s Division of Investment Management updated, on January 17, 2017, its Form PF FAQs. A registered investment adviser (“RIA”) managing one or more private fund with at least $150 million in private fund assets under management (“AUM”) must complete and file a Form PF.  These updated FAQs present guidance for RIAs  required to complete

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Jan27

SEC Leadership Turnover

The past few weeks brought leadership changes at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and there’s more to come. On Monday, January 23, 2017, republican commissioner Dr. Michael Pinowar was designated acting Chairman of the SEC. His term can extend to 2018 but is expected to be brief since the new administration has offered securities

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Jan27

NFA Reminder on CCO Report Filing ~ FCMs & SDs

The National Futures Association (NFA) reminds futures commission merchant (FCM), swap dealer (SD), and major swap participant (MSP) members of their obligation to file their chief compliance officer (“CCO”) annual report up to ninety (90) days after their fiscal year-end. On November 16, 2016, the CFTC amended Regulation 3.3 to give all such registrants this

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Jan26

Forecasts for Fintech in 2017

Asset Disrupters Will Multiply Financial technology or fintech firms continue to look to disrupt core banking products–checking, savings, debit cards–and are expected to increase this year, mainly as partnerships between the fintechs firms and traditional banks.  That may change going forward, however, if fintech companies are granted bank charters by the Office of the Comptroller

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Jan18

Registration Exempt CFOs & CTAs ~ Affirm by March 1, 2017

The National Futures Association (NFA) reminds commodity pool operators (CPOs) and commodity trading advisors (CTAs) exempt from registration to annually affirm by March 1, 2017.  Failure to complete the process on time is considered a request to withdraw from the exemption.  Such persons/entities may be required to be registered with the CFTC and become NFA

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Jan17

Investors Alert: Beware of Excessive Trading

The SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy (OIEA) and Broker-Dealer Task Force issued an Investor Alert to help investors identify and react to excessive trading in their brokerage accounts. Review Brokerage Account Documents: Review your account statements, trade confirmations, or online account, for thee red flags: Unauthorized Trading:  trades in your account that you

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Jan14

SEC 2017 BD & RIA Examination Hot Spots

In its continued effort to protect investors and maintain fair, orderly, and efficient markets, in 2017, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) will focus on three overarching areas concerning broker-dealers (“BDs”), registered investment advisers (“RIAs”), and transfer agents: 1. Matters of importance to retail investors 2. Risks specific to elderly and retiring

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Jan11

FINRA BD Contact System ~ Verify by Jan. 26, 2017

FINRA member broker-dealers must complete an annual verification of their contact info in the FINRA Contact System (FCS) within the first seventeen (17) business days of each calendar year. The deadline to complete the annual verification is January 26, 2017. See instructions in the  FCS Annual Review Guide. Rule 4517 requires firms to: Update designated

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Jan11

10 Investment Tips for 2017 from the SEC

Ten tips form the SEC’s Office of Investor Education and Advocacy aim to help novice and seasoned investors avoid scams and make more informed choices in 2017. (1) On Background Checks: Check the background of an investment professional.  It’s fast and free. Find info on adviser via search tool on the SEC’s website for individual

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Jan11

Earlier IRS Deadlines in 2017 for Forms W-2 and 1099

Starting in 2017, employers and small businesses face an earlier filing deadline of January 31, 2017, for Forms W-2 and certain Forms 1099-MISC reporting non-employee compensation such as payments to independent contractors.  Also the IRS must hold some refunds until February 15. A new federal law, aimed at making it easier for the IRS to

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Jan11

Investment Adviser Branch Compliance ~ Going Under the Lens

The SEC staff of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) released a new National Exam Program Risk Alert entitled: “Multi-Branch Adviser Initiative” (the “Alert”). More investment advisers operate from locations other than the main office .  This multi-branch business model poses special challenges to an adviser’s compliance with the Advisers Act.   To

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Jan11

MSRB Puts Upcoming Muni Offerings on EMMA

To enhance the availability of information about upcoming offerings or issues of new municipal securities, the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (“MSRB”) added a new issue calendar to its Electronic Municipal Market Access (EMMA®) website.  This tool along with other disclosures on EMMA can help all municipal market participants make decisions appropriate to them. Help to Investors

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Jan11

NFA Updates Regulatory Guide to Forex Transactions

The National Futures Association (“NFA”) revised its Forex Transactions Regulatory Guide in late December 2016 (1) to incorporate technical amendments to NFA Bylaw 1507 Definitions and requirements to conform to the definitions in Section 1a of the Commodity Exchange Act, and (2) to add references to minimum security deposits requirements in Section 1a of the

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Jan08

Annual Audit Report 2017 Due Dates for Broker-Dealers

FINRA reminds member broker-dealer firms of their 2017 filing due dates for the annual certified audited report (“Annual Report”). “Firms must submit their annual audit reports in electronic form. Firms must also file the report at the regional office of the SEC in which the firm has its principal place of business and the SEC’s

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Jan08

Schedule of SSOI 2017 Filings for Broker-Dealers

FINRA issued, for its member broker-dealers, the 2017 filing cutoff dates for the Schedule for Supplemental Statement of Income (“SSOI”): SSOI filings are due within 20 business days of the end of each quarter. Upcoming SSOI Deadlines: Related Documents The FINRA SSOI page FINRA Regulatory Notice 12-11 ~ Supplemental FOCUS Information ~ Feb. 2012 FINRA

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Jan08

FOCUS Report 2017 Deadlines for Broker Dealers

FINRA detailed the 2017 deadlines for broker-dealer firms to file their FOCUS reports. To comply with SEC Rule 17a-5, FINRA member firms must send monthly, quarterly, and annual reports by the listed due dates. FOCUS filings are due within 17 business days of the end of each quarter Filing is done via the eFOCUS system,

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Jan08

Form Custody Filing Schedule 2017 for Broker-Dealers

All broker-dealers must file Form Custody with their Designated Enforcement Agency (FINRA) quarterly at the same time as their quarterly FOCUS Reports. File using FINRA’s eFOCUS system available on Firm Gateway Find Form Custody displayed as “Report Type” Custody along with FOCUS and Schedule I Form Custody Deadlines:   Related Documents Form Custody Instructions SEA Rule 17a-5(a)(5)  FINRA 2017

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Jan08

Form OBS 2017 Filling Due Dates ~ Carrying and Clearing Broker-Dealers

FINRA detailed the 2017 deadlines for broker-dealer firms to file their Form “OBS”: Supplemental Schedule for Derivatives and Other Off-Balance Sheet Items. Unless subject to the de minimis exception, Form OBS must be filed by (1) FINRA member firms that self-clear their proprietary transactions or clear transactions for others or carry customer accounts and (2)

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Jan08

Supplemental Inventory Schedule 2017 Due Dates for Broker-Dealers

FINRA detailed the 2017 deadlines for broker-dealer firms to file their  Supplemental Inventory Schedule (“SIS”). Firms obligated to file FOCUS Report Part ll, FOCUS Report Part llA or FOGS Report Part l must file an SIS unless the firm has: (1) a minimum dollar net capital or liquid capital requirement of less than $100,00; or

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Jan07

FINRA’s Regulatory and Examination Priorities for 2017

Each year, FINRA, the Financial Industry Authority,  publishes its regulatory and examination priorities for member broker-dealers  to highlight issues of importance. The 2017 FINRA Regulatory and Examination Priorities Letter, released January 4th, details  the areas to receive deeper scrutiny in FINRA’s 2017 exams. Broker-dealers should keep these priorities at the top of their checklist when

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