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Most entities formed or registered to do business in the U.S. will, beginning January 1, 2024, be required to self-report beneficial ownership information to the U.S. Treasury’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (“FinCEN”). The new federal database, to be known as “BOSS” (Beneficial Ownership Secure System), is not yet online, but FinCEN on Friday, September 30 published the final regulations[1] implementing beneficial ownership information disclosure requirements pursuant to the Corporate Transparency Act (“CTA”)[2] passed by Congress in 2021 ...

On August 11, 2022, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (“CFPB”) issued a circular (Circular 2022-04 or, the “Circular”) addressing whether insufficient data and information security practices can violate the prohibition against unfair acts or practices in the Consumer Financial Protection Act (“CFPA”). The CFPB concluded that inadequate security practices could give rise to a claim not only under federal data security laws like the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (“GLBA”), but also under the CFPA as well. The Circular discusses the elements of a claim under the CFPA and identifies a few specific practices that the CFPB identified as likely giving rise to a violation of the CFPA. The Circular, however, does not otherwise provide direction to the industry on expected information security practices.

FINRA’s Expansion of Safeguards to Prevent the Financial Exploitation of Specified Adults in Rule 2165

Published by Westlaw Today

FINRA has continued its efforts to expand protections for “specified adults” by amending its Rule 2165.[1] Prior to the amendments, FINRA Rule 2165 allowed FINRA member firms to place temporary holds on disbursements of funds and securities in situations involving the financial exploitation of those individuals. With the amendments (which went effective on March 17, 2022), FINRA has indicated that it has created the first uniform national standard for placing temporary holds on securities transactions in the accounts of these customers in ...

Risks Associated with Cryptocurrency Activities Continue to be Top-of-Mind for Federal Banking Regulators

For those tracking developments impacting the crypto-asset space, the summer has been far from slow and leisurely. Multiple industry alerts flow daily with news of new legislative proposals, enforcement actions, and other events or issues impacting the industry. The news is inevitably accompanied by calls for greater legal certainty regarding crypto-asset characterization and clarity around the regulatory framework governing the industry. While news flows quickly, the pace of substantive developments, however, has been frustratingly slow for many. Unmoved by demands for ...

Beyond “Security or Commodity”: Different Types of Digital Assets

In a prior post, we discussed the recent proposed rules from the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) regarding certain non-public information reported to the SEC and the CFTC in the Form PF. Most of the rule is discussing information and requirements that are not related to or focused on digital assets. However, in one part, there is a proposal to request information from private funds about their “digital assets”.

The definition from the SEC and CFTC for “digital assets” is broad and all encompassing. As a ...

SEC and CFTC Agree on a Single Definition of “Digital Asset” – More is Needed

The Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) (collectively, the “Agencies”) jointly proposed a rule (the “Proposed Rule”) that would impact existing confidential reporting obligations of private equity funds and other collective investment vehicles not registered as an “investment company” (referred to as, “Private Funds”). The rule proposes changes to the Form PF, a non-public report for certain SEC-registered investment advisers to Private Funds, which get submitted to the SEC (and CFTC ...

Coinbase: Regulation by Enforcement? CFTC & Market Implications

A Bloomberg article last week suggests potentially more bad news is on the way for Coinbase Global Inc. (“Coinbase”). Coinbase is reportedly facing an investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) into whether it let customers trade digital assets that the SEC believes should have been registered as securities. Rumors of investigations by the SEC do not necessarily suggest problems for the company at the center of those rumors, but the timing of a recent SEC complaint (SEC v. Wahi) may explain why this report had such a negative effect on Coinbase’s ...

NYDFS Releases Stablecoin Guidance for NYDFS-regulated Institutions

On June 8, 2022, the New York State Department of Financial Services (“NYDFS”) released industry guidance applicable to U.S. dollar-backed stablecoins issued by NYDFS-regulated entities (the “Guidance”). The Guidance focuses on NYDFS requirements relating to the redeemability of these stablecoins, the asset reserves that back them (the “Reserves”), and auditor examination and attestations regarding management’s assertions concerning the sufficiency of the Reserves.  

By way of background, a stablecoin is a type of digital asset that is intended to ...

Late last month the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) charged JP Morgan, UBS and Trade Station with violations of Regulation S-ID based on a range of  inadequacies in their identity theft red flag policies and procedures. https://www.sec.gov/news/press-release/2022-131 The violations at issue might seem less than critical, such as not updating policies, merely copying over examples of red flags from Reg S-ID’s Appendix A, not incorporating specific policies into the red flag program, covering all accounts instead of conducting specific account assessments, and not providing sufficient detail in board reports. Although the SEC did not note any failure by these broker-dealers and investment advisors to actually detect and respond to identity theft red flags, the resulting orders and fines (up to $1.2 million), underline the SEC’s seriousness about protecting investors from cybercrime by requiring broker dealers and investment advisors to up their game and focus on the details.

Forgery and Falsification in the Digital World - FINRA Issues Reminder on Supervisory Obligations

In response to ever increasing reports of forgery and falsification of records in the digital signature space, FINRA issued Regulatory Notice 22-18. This Notice reminds FINRA members of relevant regulatory obligations, while also addressing misuse scenarios and identification methods, in order to help members mitigate risk in this area.

In the Notice, FINRA highlights that forgery occurs when an individual “signs or affixes, or causes to be signed or affixed,” the name of another person to a document without that person’s prior permission. FINRA further stated that ...

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