Tag: IOSCO


Perspectives on Strengthening Enforcement

Mary Jo White is Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This post is based on Chair White’s remarks to the Annual Forum of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), available here. The views expressed in this post are those of Chair White and do not necessarily reflect those of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the other Commissioners, or the Staff.

Mary Jo White is Chair of the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This post is based on Chair White’s remarks to the Annual Forum of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), available here. The views expressed in this post are those of Chair White and do not necessarily reflect those of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the other Commissioners, or the Staff.

Greg [Tanzer, ASIC Commissioner] suggested that I talk about my perspectives on international cooperation in the enforcement context, as well as what we at the SEC are doing to try to make our own enforcement program even more robust and responsive to the issues presented by interconnected and fast moving markets. I am happy to do that. But, before I do, I would like to share a couple of thoughts on the topic of your first session—“Enforcement—does the punishment fit the crime?”

Much of my professional background has been in enforcement and strong enforcement was one of my primary focuses when I became Chair of the SEC almost a year ago and it remains so. Vigorous enforcement of the securities laws in the United States, in Australia and around the world is obviously a critical component of our investor protection mission.

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Nonbank SIFIs: No Solace for US Asset Managers

The following post comes to us from Dan Ryan, Leader of the Financial Services Advisory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and is based on a PwC publication.

The following post comes to us from Dan Ryan, Leader of the Financial Services Advisory Practice at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, and is based on a PwC publication.

Ever since the Treasury Department’s Office of Financial Research (“OFR”) released its report on Asset Management and Financial Stability in September 2013 (“OFR Report” or “Report”), the industry has vigorously opposed its central conclusion that the activities of the asset management industry as a whole make it systemically important and may pose a risk to US financial stability.

Several members of Congress have also voiced concern with the OFR Report’s findings, particularly during recent Congressional hearings, as have commissioners of the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). Further complicating matters, a senior official of the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (“OCC”) recently expressed alarm about banks working with alternative asset managers or shadow banks on “weak” leveraged lending deals.

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Basel Committee and IOSCO Release Framework for Uncleared Derivatives Margin

Annette Nazareth is a partner in the Financial Institutions Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and a former commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The following post is based on a Davis Polk client memorandum; the complete publication, including tables and appendices, is available here.

Annette Nazareth is a partner in the Financial Institutions Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and a former commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The following post is based on a Davis Polk client memorandum; the complete publication, including tables and appendices, is available here.

The Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (“BCBS”) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”) on September 2 released their final policy framework on margin requirements for uncleared derivatives (the “Framework”). The Framework, which follows two proposals on the topic from BCBS and IOSCO (the “Proposals”), is intended to establish minimum standards for uncleared derivatives margin rules in the jurisdictions of BCBS and IOSCO’s members, which includes the United States.

The Framework is designed to provide guidance to national regulators in implementing G-20 commitments for uncleared derivatives margin requirements. In the United States, the Dodd-Frank Act, reflecting the same G-20 commitments, requires the SEC, CFTC and banking regulators to adopt initial and variation margin requirements for swap dealers and major swap participants (“MSPs”) under their supervision. [1] The U.S. regulators have proposed rules to implement these requirements (the “U.S. Proposals”), but have not yet adopted final rules, in part due to the ongoing BCBS/IOSCO efforts. The Framework is similar in concept to the U.S. Proposals, but differs in a number of significant respects. Appendix A summarizes the Framework and the three U.S. Proposals, highlighting a number of the key differences.

With the Framework finalized, we expect that U.S. regulators will work to issue final rules implementing uncleared swap margin requirements in the coming months.

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IOSCO Requirements for Distribution of Complex Financial Products

The following post comes to us from Jeremy Jennings-Mares, partner in the Capital Markets practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP, and is based on a recent Morrison & Foerster client alert by Bradley Berman.

The following post comes to us from Jeremy Jennings-Mares, partner in the Capital Markets practice at Morrison & Foerster LLP, and is based on a recent Morrison & Foerster client alert by Bradley Berman.

On January 21, 2013, the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), of which the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. is an affiliate member, published its final report on Suitability Requirements With Respect to the Distribution of Complex Financial Products. The report can be found at https://www.iosco.org/library/pubdocs/pdf/IOSCOPD400.pdf.

The report sets forth nine principles relating to the distribution of complex products by “intermediaries” (defined below), and, for each of the principles, “means of implementation,” which include suggested regulatory changes and detailed guidance for intermediaries. The purpose of the principles is to “promote robust customer protection in connection with the distribution of complex financial products by intermediaries,” including providing guidance on how the applicable suitability requirements should be implemented. The principles are intended to address concerns raised by regulatory authorities and others about sales of structured products, particularly to retail investors. The focus is on not only the point of sale but also on the intermediary’s internal procedures related to suitability determinations.

Many of the themes raised in the report have also been discussed by U.S. regulatory authorities in the past year, including suitability and sales practices. The report suggests that regulators should have the power to impose outright bans on sales of some complex financial products in certain situations. Of course, each jurisdiction has a different legal and regulatory regime and, as a result, the report contains certain general statements that would not be uniformly applicable.

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International Coordination Among Regulators

Editor’s Note: Elisse B. Walter is a Commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This post is based on Commissioner Walter’s remarks to the American Bar Association International Section, available here. The views expressed in this post are those of Commissioner Walter and do not necessarily reflect those of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the other Commissioners, or the Staff.

As you may know, I am the Commission’s designated representative on the Financial Stability Board, or FSB, which is an international forum of prudential financial regulators, market regulators, international financial institutions and standard setting bodies. And last spring I finished a tour of duty as the Commission’s head of delegation to the International Organization of Securities Commissions, also known as IOSCO, a position now ably filled by the Commission’s Director of the Office of International Affairs, Ethiopis Tafara. The experience I have had representing the Commission in these institutions has been enlightening. While I, like most people, already understood that we are living in an increasingly interconnected world, serving on IOSCO and the FSB has helped me better appreciate the extent of these connections in the financial system, as well as both the power and the limitations of these international forums.

One of the better-known achievements of IOSCO is how it has increased international cooperation among securities regulators in the area of enforcement. This cooperation has been extraordinarily valuable, facilitating countless Commission cases where crucial evidence rests outside of the United States. Building on this success, we are now establishing cooperative arrangements with other regulators in our supervision program.

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Rulemaking on Margin Requirements for Uncleared Derivatives

Annette Nazareth is a partner in the Financial Institutions Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and a former commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This post is based on a Davis Polk client memorandum.

Annette Nazareth is a partner in the Financial Institutions Group at Davis Polk & Wardwell LLP, and a former commissioner at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. This post is based on a Davis Polk client memorandum.

On July 6, the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (the “BCBS”) and the International Organization of Securities Commissions (“IOSCO”) released a consultation paper on margin requirements for uncleared derivatives (the “BCBS/IOSCO paper”). In response, the CFTC reopened the comment period for its proposed rule on margin requirements for uncleared swaps until September 14, 2012.

The BCBS/IOSCO paper is similar in many important ways to the proposals issued by the CFTC and banking regulators under Dodd-Frank (the “U.S. regulators’ proposals”). For example, in order to decrease systemic risk and promote clearing, the BCBS/IOSCO paper and the U.S. regulators’ proposals both generally endorse subjecting uncleared transactions between financial entities to initial and variation margin requirements and would not allow initial margin amounts to be netted between the two counterparties to the transaction. However, the BCBS/IOSCO paper differs from the U.S. regulators’ proposals in a number of critical ways. For example, the BCBS/IOSCO paper:

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