Updated Guidance Issued on Exemption Reporting

Recently, the SEC and FINRA issued Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) concerning the exemptive provisions of SEC Rule 15c3-3 and reporting under SEC Rule 17a-5 for monthly and quarterly Focus reports, annual Exemption reports and for updating membership agreements. Who is Affected? The FAQs relate to Non-Covered firms, broker-dealers that do not: meet any of the… READ MORE

5 Common Compliance Mistakes

When I was a regulator, we would meet each week to discuss the cases being considered for Enforcement referrals. It was surprising how often the same types of cases would come before us. These were not always headline grabbing, but they were avoidable items that came up over and over again. I thought it might… READ MORE

Regulators Provide CAT Reporting Focus

In the past few weeks, the industry has been given additional guidance on how CAT reporting will be monitored by the regulatory body and the SROs. We were introduced to a new acronym, CMRWG, which is the Cross-Market Regulation Working Group. The CMRWG was recently formed to reduce unnecessary duplication in enforcement efforts. SROs have… READ MORE

Effective Remote Testing

Remote work is the current normal.  Since March, Oyster has led conversions for clients without ever being onsite, started new businesses with client’s we’ve never met in person, and completed virtual exams.  For years, some or all our testing has been conducted remotely depending on the client’s needs.  For the last four months, all of… READ MORE

New Podcast: Preparing for Modern Regulatory Exams

The pandemic has changed how firms operate as offices close and staff work from home. Regulators have also had to change their examination practices to accommodate these changes.  In this episode, Oyster Managing Director Ed Wegener, a former SVP and Midwest Regional Director of FINRA, shares his insider views on: the changes in the regulator’s… READ MORE

New Podcast: Understanding Risk-Based Regulatory Exams

For registered financial services firms, regulatory exams in the past have instilled the gamut of emotions from annoyance to anxiety, to outright fear. Fortunately, much of this could be mitigated with a better understanding of the exam process, the necessity for robust risk assessments, and by nurturing the firm’s relationship with it’s regulatory contact. This… READ MORE

Protect Your Profits through Compliance, Communication and Education

When it comes to compliance, your revenue stream is only as strong as your regulatory and client relationships.  Making a million in revenue means very little if you pay a $500,000 fine.  How do you protect that revenue? Compliance: Follow the rules and regulations and watch closely to ensure your employees do the same. A… READ MORE