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MVA White Collar Defense, Investigations, and Regulatory Advice Blog: Financial Services Regulators Call for Preparedness and Flexibility in Supervised Institutions’ Responses to COVID-19

March 2020

Charlotte White Collar, Regulatory Defense, and Investigations Member Neil Bloomfield and Associate Kate Wellman‘s MVA White Collar Defense, Investigations, and Regulatory Advice Blog titled “Financial Services Regulators Call for Preparedness and Flexibility in Supervised Institutions’ Responses to COVID-19” was published on March 17.

The article

As COVID-19 continues to spread globally, U.S. financial services regulators have released guidance to their supervised institutions to encourage proactive planning for what may be months of sustained impact to business infrastructure and the financial system.  The theme running through recent guidance released by the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and federal and state banking agencies is the need for flexibility.  Financial institutions, like all of us grappling with the effects of the outbreak, cannot know what lies ahead—where the virus will spread next, what measures governments around the world will take to stem its tide, and how long it will last.  Institutions therefore must have measures in place to allow them to adapt quickly to shifting priorities, restrictions, and guidance.  The regulators, in turn, have shown a willingness to be flexible, among other things by relaxing submission deadlines and reporting requirements, rescheduling examinations and inspections, and providing assistance to impacted institutions.  As always, the focus is on ensuring protection of customers and their assets, but the regulators also acknowledge the significant threat COVID-19 poses to employee safety and wellbeing.

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