SEC Forms Cross-Divisional COVID-19 Market Monitoring Group The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the formation of an internal, cross-divisional COVID-19 Market Monitoring Group. This temporary, senior-level group will assist the Commission and its various divisions and offices in (1) Commission and staff actions and analysis related to the effects of COVID-19 on markets, issuers, and investors—including our Main Street investors, and (2) responding to requests for information, analysis and assistance from fellow regulators and other public sector partners.

SEC Provides for Phased CAT Broker-Dealer Reporting Timelines with Conditional Exemption for Impacts of COVID-19 The Securities and Exchange Commission announced it has voted to issue two exemptive orders in order to move Consolidated Audit Trail (CAT) implementation forward: (1) establishing a phased CAT reporting timeline for broker-dealers, and (2) permitting introducing brokers that meet certain requirements to follow the small broker-dealer reporting timeline.

FINRA Statement on SEC’s OCIE Risk Alerts for Reg BI and Form CRS On April 7, 2020, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) released Risk Alerts for Reg BI and Form CRS. These Risk Alerts set forth OCIE’s expectations for firms’ compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS and provide broker-dealers with information about the scope and content of OCIE’s initial examinations following the compliance date of June 30, 2020. FINRA will take the same approach as set forth in the SEC Risk Alerts when FINRA examines broker-dealers and their associated persons for compliance with Reg BI and Form CRS.

Introduction to Transparency Services Initiatives and Webpage In an effort to communicate technical changes to its trade reporting and quotation facilities – TRACE, ORF, and ADF (and related systems) with FINRA member firms, FINRA is introducing a new web page, on FINRA.org, where firms may review upcoming market transparency initiatives.

Coronavirus Impact on FINRA-Administered Exams & Continuing Education FINRA and NASAA are working together with input from other regulators and the industry to accelerate the delivery of an online testing service that will be administered and remotely proctored by our test delivery provider, Prometric. The online test delivery service will allow candidates to use their personal or firm-provided, camera-equipped computer to take qualifications examinations. Prometric staff will proctor the examination through the camera and other online tools.

Read April newsletter here