Latest Articles

In early March 2019, the Department of Justice (DOJ) revised its Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) Corporate Enforcement Policy (the Policy). First announced in November 2017, the Policy is designed to encourage companies to self-report FCPA violations and to cooperate with the DOJ’s FCPA investigations. The Policy and its recent revisions were incorporated into the United States Attorneys’ Manual (USAM), now referred to as the Justice Manual (JM), which is the internal DOJ document that…
In recent years, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) have heightened their expectations of what constitutes a “comprehensive” branch self-inspection program. Firms that fail to meet these expectations might receive a visit — and disciplinary action — from either FINRA or the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE). To avoid regulatory intervention and discipline, firms should implement heightened branch inspection processes and procedures. To read the full…
On November 6, 2014, FINRA released results from a survey of U.S. investors measuring the demand for additional regulatory protections. The survey polled 1,000 adults and revealed that an overwhelming majority felt that it was important to protect investors and police the markets.  Indeed, 74 percent polled would support additional regulatory protections to safeguard against broker-dealer misconduct, and 56 percent expressed support for these additional protections even if it meant a minimal increase in costs.  Interestingly,…
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) rules require member firms to establish and maintain a system of written procedures to supervise the activities of its members. On December 23, 2013, the SEC approved new FINRA rules. Among other provisions, the new rules require procedures for detecting and reporting insider trading and impose heightened standards on supervisory controls. Member firms should ensure that their actions conform to the updated regulatory scheme, which is part of FINRA’s continuing…
The SEC is crunching a lot of data these days, and it apparently intends to use some of that data to identify “reverse churning.” Reverse churning is the practice of placing a client who trades infrequently in a fee-based, rather than a commission-based, account; Chair Mary Jo White recently identified this as a problem that the SEC can detect through its quantitative analytics. Based upon the SEC’s and FINRA’s past regulatory and enforcement focus in…