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Schwab report shows strong growth of SEC-regulated advisers

October 3, 2018

The number of investment advisers that registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission in 2017 jumped 20% over the year before, according to an analysis by Schwab Advisor Services. The Schwab analysis shows that 238 firms registered with...

Sweeping retirement legislation is likely coming soon

October 2, 2018

Sweeping retirement legislation appears to be on the way. With more than one-third of private-sector employees lacking access to retirement plans, there is strong bipartisan support for action to make plans more accessible and enhance features...

Finra CEO Robert Cook cautions industry not to take comfort in sharp drop in fines last year

October 2, 2018

Finra chief executive Robert W. Cook cautioned the financial industry Tuesday not to take comfort in the recent sharp drop in total fines imposed by the regulator. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. levied $173.8 million in fines...

Finra will consolidate examination, risk-monitoring programs

October 1, 2018

Finra will consolidate its examination and risk-monitoring programs in an effort to make oversight of its member firms more efficient and effective, the regulator announced Monday. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Inc. said in a statement...

What's at stake with a branch audit?

October 1, 2018

Each year, or every couple of years at offices on a lighter schedule, your home office (or branch manager/office of supervisory jurisdiction) sends out an auditor to go over all of your files. Typically, the auditor is friendly and seems quite...

FPA splits with CFP Board over state regulation of financial planners

September 28, 2018

A trade group representing thousands of financial planners has split with the organization that grants the financial planning credential over whether the profession should be regulated at the state level. Earlier this week, the Certified Financial...

Merrill Lynch no longer will accept penny stock trades

September 28, 2018

With the Securities and Exchange Commission cracking down on penny stocks, Merrill Lynch recently told its clients and financial advisers that it is putting restrictions on the purchase and sale of a large swath of low-priced securities. "To...

SEC adds cybersecurity bite to its bark

September 28, 2018

The charges against Voya Financial Advisors earlier this week, which resulted in the company paying a $1 million settlement, makes clear that the Securities and Exchange Commission is done warning firms about cybersecurity. It's ready to take...

Finra fines up, but restitutions plummet in first half of 2018

September 27, 2018

Financial Industry Regulation Authority Inc. fine amounts increased slightly in the first half of 2018, while restitutions plummeted from last year, according to a new study. According to the law firm of Eversheds Sutherland, which tracks Finra...

New Jersey brokers expect industry will push back against fiduciary rule proposal

September 27, 2018

New Jersey brokerage executives expressed consternation over adding another layer of regulation by requiring them to adhere to a fiduciary standard, predicting officials will face stiff headwinds in getting it across the finish line. "The state...

House approves retirement-savings bill that eases use of annuities in workplace plans

September 27, 2018

Legislation approved by the House of Representatives Thursday would make it easier for employers to include annuities in workplace retirement plans. The provision, which clarifies how firms can satisfy their fiduciary responsibilities when selecting...

SEC advice rule falls short on investor protection, lawmaker asserts

September 26, 2018

A Democratic lawmaker asserted to a Securities and Exchange Commission official Wednesday that the agency's investment advice reform proposal falls short of the investor protections required by the Dodd-Frank financial reform law. In a congressional...

New Jersey fiduciary rule could be first of many among states post-DOL

September 26, 2018

New Jersey's push for a fiduciary rule governing brokerage firms in the state could be the first of many similar rules issued by other states following the death of the Department of Labor's fiduciary regulation earlier this year. New Jersey...

Voya pays $1 million to settle SEC charges over cybersecurity breach

September 26, 2018

Voya Financial Advisors will pay $1 million to settle Securities and Exchange Commission charges regarding a data security breach that compromised the personal information of thousands of customers. An SEC order says that over a period of six...

FSI celebrates death of DOL fiduciary rule, praises SEC advice rule

September 25, 2018

Leaders of the Financial Services Institute danced on the grave of the Labor Department's fiduciary rule Tuesday while voicing support for the Securities and Exchange Commission's advice reform proposal. FSI president and CEO Dale Brown said...

SEC charges Wells Fargo adviser with defrauding clients out of $1 million

September 25, 2018

The Securities and Exchange Commission charged a former Wells Fargo adviser with allegedly defrauding his retail clients out of more than $1 million. John Gregory Schmidt, who is based in Dayton, Ohio, sold securities belonging to at least seven...

Finra educates examiners on broker business models to improve oversight

September 25, 2018

One frequent complaint brokerages have about Finra exams is that the examiners don't understand the business. The regulator is addressing that lack of knowledge, said Bari Havlik, Finra executive vice president for membership supervision. "Finra...

DOL set to propose rule on open MEPs

September 25, 2018

The Department of Labor is set to formally propose a rule seeking to expand access to workplace retirement plans, less than a month after President Donald J. Trump issued an executive order calling on the agency to do so. The Labor Department...

SEC's proposed advice rule is about as clear as mud

September 22, 2018

The effort by the Securities and Exchange Commission to clarify for consumers the differing standards of financial professionals could be all for naught. While we give the SEC credit for attempting to salvage some of the momentum and investor-protection...

The public can be better served without state regulation of planners

September 22, 2018

A profession is built upon the principles of ethics, education, experience and a competency assessment ensuring that someone has the knowledge and skills to work with the public. Professionals who serve the public are also typically held accountable...

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