Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and The Federal Reserve Board Ban Issue Banking Industry Bans
Two former HSBC plc foreign exchange cash trading executives were indicted on criminal wire fraud charges. The indictment alleges the head of the foreign exchange trading desks and his direct report misrepresented details of a large, pending currency transaction to a HSBC client. Additionally, the indictment also alleges that both employees benefitted from a trade at the expense of the same HSBC client. The Federal Reserve Board (FRB) has banned both former HSBC employees from the banking industry until the criminal charges are addressed or disposed of. This action follows the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency’s issuance of a notice of suspension to the former HSBC global forex head.
Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
Foreign European Bank Pays Civil Penalty For SEC Metric Reporting Violations
A foreign European bank was found to be in violation of Security Exchange Commission (SEC) rules related to the calculation and reporting of the wealth management new business net assets rating. Investors rely upon this metric to assess how much new wealth management business a bank acquires. Similarly, the chief operating officer (COO) settled SEC charges against him for causing these bank violations. Assessments against the bank and the chief operating officer were $90,000 and $80,000, respectively. For its part, the bank neither admitted nor denied any wrongdoing.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
New CFPB Rule Issues Prepaid Card Protections and Disclosure Requirements
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issues new rules to afford consumers who purchase prepaid cards the same protections assigned to traditional debit cards. Prepaid card issuers are also now required to provide clear disclosures about fees and other related charges to consumers.
These new CFPB rules were designed to make prepaid cards safer for consumers to use.
Other Regulatory Bodies
U. S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission Seeks Greater Transparency and Oversight in the Swaps Marketplace
The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) unanimously agreed to expand the swap clearing requirement determination for interest rate swaps. Interest rate swaps, in select denominated categories among four interest rate swap groups, as defined in CFTC regulation 50.4 (a), must be cleared through a derivative clearing organization (DCO), as required by the Commodity Exchange Act (CEA) section 2(h). The Dodd-Frank Act (DFA) amended the CEA to increase transparency and oversight in the swap marketplace. Some entities will be eligible for a clearing requirement exception or exemption. Compliance with this expanded clearing rule will be phased in over a two-year period; non-US jurisdictions will enact their version of this rule first followed by the U.S.
The Federal Trade Commission
The Federal Trade Commission Assesses $1.3. BN Fine Against A Nevada Pay Day Lender
A U. S. District Court in the District of Nevada upheld the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) complaint against AMG Services, Inc., a Kansas-based pay day lending company. AMG Services, Inc. and several corporate operators, including a race car driver, were found to be in violation of Section 5 of the FTC Act for deceiving consumers nationwide, failing to properly disclose pay day loan fees, and charging inflated consumer fees. The assessment is the largest FTC assessment resulting from litigation and represents the difference between the expressed and actual fees.
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority(FINRA)
Broker-Dealer Registration Training To Be Offered To Municipal Advisors in November Via Live Webcast
Three financial industry regulatory bodies -- the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), and the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC) -- have joined forces in order to provide registration training to municipal advisors. This free live webinar is open to all municipal advisors and is scheduled for November 10, 2016. The purpose of this registration information session is to provide municipal advisors with the rationale for this requirement, as expressed directly by the MSRB and SEC registration. Additionally, how to register for the first time and periodically thereafter, as mandated by the MSRB and SEC, will be emphasized. Ultimately, the goal of this training is to impress upon municipal advisors that registration is an important compliance obligation.