Bradley Berman

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Nearly all companies—whether they’re focused on the B2C market or the B2B market—have embraced social media as a way to promote their goods and services and to interact with customers and potential customers. The growing use of social media has, however, created challenges for federal securities regulators who must enforce antifraud rules that were written prior to the digital age. Our Guide to Social Media and the Securities Laws summarizes how regulation has evolved in the…
The growing use of social media has created challenges for federal securities regulators, who must enforce antifraud rules that were written at a time when the prevailing technology was the newspaper. This Guide summarizes how regulation has evolved in the face of the growing use of social media.  Our guide discusses the principal areas of focus for SEC-reporting companies, registered investment advisers, registered investment companies, and registered broker-dealers that use social media. Read our Guide
Broker-dealers have been reluctant to fully embrace social media due to regulatory concerns. Although the industry regulator, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”), has issued regulatory notices relating to the use of social media and the application of FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public), many gray areas have remained, dampening the use of Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media platforms by industry participants. FINRA’s recent release of Regulatory Notice 17-18 may help to remedy…
In Regulatory Notice 17-18, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (“FINRA”) provided additional guidance, in the form of 12 FAQs, on its earlier regulatory notices relating to the use of social media and the application of FINRA Rule 2210 (Communications with the Public). Specifically, the FAQs expand on the areas of recordkeeping, third-party posts and the use of hyperlinks to third-party sites. FINRA acknowledged that the use of social media and digital communications has expanded…
At an open meeting today, the SEC voted to issue a request for comment (RFC) on the disclosures required by Industry Guide 3, which applies to the description of business portions of bank holding company registration statements. As the SEC noted, the financial industry has changed since Guide 3 was last updated in the 1970s.  The RFC will solicit comments with a view toward modernizing Guide 3’s requirements for today’s banking industry.  Quantitative and qualitative…
FINRA has made no secret of its interest in broker compensation, and the potential conflicts of interest that can be generated by some types of compensation practices.  FINRA discussed these issues in its 2015 annual priorities letter, as well as in its earlier 2013 report on conflicts of interest.  These conflicts are also relevant to FINRA’s ongoing discussions relating to the adoption of a fiduciary-standard for broker-dealers, as well as its recent efforts to adopt…