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Transparency, credibility, fairness: Finra's decision to explain rationale for penalties is a welcome one

May 19, 2018

The object​ of all justice systems should be, in the words of Gilbert and Sullivan: "To let the punishment fit the crime." Systems of justice are more likely to achieve the dual objectives of punishment and deterrence when all can see that...

Wells Fargo's latest issue emerges amid bank's rebranding campaign

May 18, 2018

Only weeks ago, none other than Warren Buffett seemed sure that Wells Fargo & Co. was putting its scandals behind it. "I like Tim Sloan as a manager," Mr. Buffett said of the bank's leader at his May 5 shareholder meeting. "He is correcting...

UBS wins $9.7 million Finra award

May 18, 2018

UBS Financial Services Inc. of Puerto Rico has been awarded $9.7 million by Finra to compensate for costs related to a lawsuit settlement with the ex-wife of a former client of the broker-dealer. The dispute originates in 2001 when a divorce...

Pope Francis wants financial advisers to work like fiduciaries

May 18, 2018

Pope Francis weighed in on the debate over the need for a universal fiduciary standard for financial advisers Thursday in a wide critique of global finance that admonished advisers who worked against the best interests of their clients. Issued...

States trying to save DOL fiduciary rule appeal rejection of effort to intervene

May 17, 2018

This story has been updated with new material. Another attempt to appeal a federal court ruling striking down the Labor Department's fiduciary rule is keeping the measure viable for now, but it still faces long odds of defying death. California,...

SEC, Finra nab two firms for AML violations

May 16, 2018

The SEC has censured Chardan Capital Markets and Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Financial Services (ICBCFS) and settled charges against them for failing to report suspicious sales of billions of penny stock shares. Without admitting...

Oregon auto-IRA success shows national program would 'work well,' advocate says

May 16, 2018

Oregon's auto-IRA program has only been around a few months, but its early success demonstrates a similar framework could work at the national level, a proponent said at a congressional hearing Wednesday. Oregon launched a pilot phase of its...

SEC enforcement officials say they focus on quality, not quantity, of cases

May 16, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission officials told lawmakers Wednesday that even though total enforcement actions declined last year, it doesn't mean the agency is going soft. In fiscal 2017, the SEC brought 754 enforcement actions, down from...

Finra sheds more light on how it determines fine amounts

May 15, 2018

Finra has begun to shed more light on how it determines the fines it levies on firms that violate its rules. In a case last week involving Fifth Third Securities Inc., the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., the broker-dealer self-regulator,...

Bond mark-up transparency rule could help investors, cause more work for brokers

May 14, 2018

New regulations designed to illuminate the cost of bonds, which went into effect on Monday, are likely to help retail investors but cause more work for brokers. The regulations — one from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc., the...

SEC's Hester Peirce blasts agency for pursuing small infractions

May 11, 2018

Securities and Exchange Commission member Hester Peirce said Friday that the agency should focus its enforcement actions only on important cases — and when it doesn't, she's not afraid to vote against proceeding. In a speech at the Rocky Mountain...

Iowa insurance regulator cautions SEC about modifying suitability rule

May 10, 2018

A state insurance official on Thursday asserted that current investment-advice regulations for brokers are working and that modifying them under a proposal from the Securities and Exchange Commission could hamstring state regulators. Iowa Insurance...

All is not lost when it comes to the mortgage interest deduction

May 9, 2018

The recently enacted tax reform package changed the way we think about itemized deductions by placing caps on some items and outright repealing others. The change that's garnered the most attention is the new $10,000 cap on the state and local...

SEC publishes advice rule, sets Aug. 7 comment deadline

May 9, 2018

The Federal Register published the Securities and Exchange Commission's investment advice reform proposal Wednesday, officially opening a comment period that will last until Aug. 7. The SEC voted 4-1 on April 18 to release the three-part proposal,...

CFP Board fights restrictive state licensing requirements

May 9, 2018

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. is fighting efforts at the state level to impose professional licensing requirements that would curb the use of its designation. On Wednesday, the CFP Board achieved initial success when...

Piwowar to resign from SEC

May 8, 2018

Michael S. Piwowar, a Republican member of the Securities and Exchange Commission, announced he will resign, according to a statement on the SEC's website. Mr. Piwowar, who was approved as commissioner by the Senate Banking Committee in July...

Piwowar departure will complicate action on SEC advice rule

May 8, 2018

When Securities and Exchange Commission member Michael Piwowar departs July 7, it will make the agency's already heavy lift to promulgate an investment advice reform package even more of a backbreaker. Mr. Piwowar, a Republican, announced Monday...

Court ruling aside, for now DOL will rely on fiduciary rule to govern investment advice

May 7, 2018

Despite a court decision to vacate the Department of Labor's fiduciary rule, the DOL said it will continue to rely on the regulation for now to govern advice in retirement accounts. The 5th Circuit Court of Appeals was expected to issue a mandate...

N.J. homeowners get law to skirt Trump's lowered tax deductions

May 7, 2018

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation last week to let homeowners declare property taxes as charitable donations that are deductible on their annual Internal Revenue Service filings. The measure is a response to the law signed by President...

State-registered investment advisers, mostly one and two-person offices, total 17,688

May 7, 2018

The number of state-registered investment advisers grew slightly over the past two years to a total of 17,688, according to a statistical snapshot of the sector released on Monday by state regulators. In its first annual report about the investment...

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