Two New York legislators are pushing a bill that would protect workers in financial services and other sectors from getting fired if they stick their necks out to report wrongdoing.
The lawmakers, Senator Diane Savino of Brooklyn and Staten Island and Assemblyman Tom Abinanti of Westchester County, want to undo the effect of a ruling by New York’s top judges held that the chief compliance officer of an investment adviser and hedge fund manager had no legal recourse after being fired for internally raising concerns over company practices. (more…)
Futures and securities firms should review their industry-wide and internal business continuity and disaster recovery plans to improve responsiveness to significant disruptions and reduce recovery time, their regulators said Friday in a staff advisory.
U.S. regulators have been particularly concerned over how financial firms plan for disasters since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and through the President’s Working Group on Financial Markets during the administration of George W. Bush urged the industry to strengthen its defenses. The concerns have included flooding following Hurricane Katrina and the threat of an influenza pandemic, and are growing. (more…)
The suspicious-activity reports and other filings submitted by anti-money laundering officers are quite unlike a child’s letters to Santa Claus — they can be assured of an audience, Manhattan’s top local prosecutor and top staffers told reporters last week.
New York County District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. said his staff is continuing the war Bob Morgenthau, his predecessor, waged against the usual focus of AML efforts – drugs, fraud, taxes and terrorism – but they are using new tools and methods to fight emerging criminal threats as well as lower-level “street crime.” (more…)
Corruption, cyber threats and transnational organized crime – and the money laundering that greases the wheels of illicit commerce – are high on the list of law enforcement priorities, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder told the House Judiciary Committee on Wednesday.
The list also includes preventing and combatting violent crime, confronting national security threats, ensuring civil rights, “safeguard[ing] the most vulnerable members of our society” and increasing the vigilance against terrorism, Holder said. (more…)
A U.S. law to improve tax compliance by U.S. taxpayers with foreign financial assets is creating confusion for foreign financial institutions that must cooperate with the Internal Revenue Service to help enforce the law.
The law, the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act, or FATCA, requires U.S. taxpayers with certain foreign financial assets and offshore accounts to report the assets to the Internal Revenue Service. (more…)
An enforcement agreement between the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and broker-dealer MD Sass Securities offers guidance on what disclosures FINRA will look for when examining brokers engaged in the private placement of securities, especially for affiliated entities.
This guidance may be particularly appropriate for offerings under the Jumpstart Our Business Startups, or JOBS, Act, which relaxes rules for emerging-company capital raising. Some of the startups are expected to raise capital through private placements, in many cases with the investment bank also engaged in selling the investments. (more…)
Court-approved securities class action settlements reported in 2012 were at a 14-year low and 18 percent fewer than in 2011 but they cost defendants twice as much as the prior year, a report released Wednesday said.
The study by the Stanford Law School Securities Class Action Clearinghouse and Cornerstone Research associated settlement values with factors including the presence of enforcement actions related to the lawsuits. This may hold clues to the outcomes in recently litigation over alleged manipulation of the global lending benchmark LIBOR, the London Interbank Offered Rate. (more…)
Settlements on Friday that require several affiliates of the SAC. fund group to pay the Securities and Exchange Commission unprecedented monetary sanctions for insider-trading violations also offer fund managers valuable compliance lessons.
The proposed $602 million settlement including a $275 million fine is “historic” – it is the largest-ever for insider trading – said George S. Canellos, acting director of the SEC Division of Enforcement. (more…)
Companies that want to manage their legal and regulatory liability and their reputational capital should treat current standards as the starting point – not the finish line – for their ethics and compliance programs, conference attendees heard Tuesday.
“Your company will be judged in the future by what it does today. Transparency is rapidly increasing, and you don’t know how it will affect your business and reputation,” one of the speakers, Dirk Mohrmann, chief executive officer of World Compliance, told attendees at the 2013 Global Ethics Summit, which was held in New York and was sponsored by Ethisphere and Thomson Reuters. (more…)
The European banking union that is coming into place would have been “unthinkable two or three years ago,” Michel Barnier, European Commission member for internal market and services, told the Transatlantic Finance Initiative in New York. Barnier urged U.S. banking regulators to follow the European path and G20 agenda as he described them, adding that transatlantic regulators should raise the level and effectiveness of their cooperation and coordination.
International standards are largely agreed upon, Barnier said. Meetings on Thursday with the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department and U.S. functional banking regulators showed that, in addition to progress on liquidity, “we are on parallel tracks to implement Basel III, we are close on margins for derivatives, we are making good progress on shadow banking [and] work on systemic banks is also well in hand.” (more…)