The Compliance Digest

Get expert compliance tips and up-to-date regulatory news.

Spring Cleaning – Your Master Compliance Checklist

Approaching updates with a “housekeeping” frame of mind can help your organization make the minor adjustments it needs to meet any new requirements. Read More

SEC Releases Risk Alert on Investment Adviser Exams

Last week, the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations released a Risk Alert announcing an upcoming examination initiative that focuses on the supervisory practices of SEC-registered investment advisers and how they monitor advisory personnel in disparate branch locations. Read More

Five Must-Hear TED Talks for Compliance Professionals

While many of these talks are not directly tied to compliance, they share knowledge on a widespread range of relatable topics, including why people lie/cheat, password security and effective communication best practices. So relax, tune in and add an extra shot of continuing education to your workday! Read More

AML Regulation: What FINRA is After

In a speech at the SIFMA AML and Financial Crimes Conference earlier this month, FINRA’s Executive Vice President of Enforcement, Bradley Bennett, reminded firms of the fundamental characteristics that make up a strong AML program, citing several recent enforcement cases to help drive home his point. Bennett centered his discussion on culture and risk most specifically and how focusing on these areas can help firms better prepare for today’s AML challenges. Read More

Is Complete Compliance Possible?

In Homer’s epic poem, the Odyssey, Odysseus and his crew are faced with the impossible choice of either sailing closer to Charybdis, a whirlpool capable of sinking their entire ship, or alternatively, to Scylla, a sea monster equally as fatal. Odysseus’ dilemma sprang to mind the difficult decisions compliance officers face every day, sometimes being forced to choose between the lesser of two evils. Read More

How to Avoid Conflicts of Interest at Your Firm

While FINRA’s definition of conflicts of interest is black and white, many firms and individual representatives are unable to pull themselves out of the grey zone. With over fifteen violations reported last month alone, the question now becomes what is it about outside business activities and private securities transactions most specifically, that continue to cause countless violations. Are the representatives failing to communicate or is the firm failing to properly outline requirements and ramifications? Read More

Tips for Compliance Spring Cleaning

This is one of those times where you should "do as I say, not as I do" because nobody would ever accuse me of being a clean freak. Seriously, no one - but as I sit here researching “spring cleaning best practices” (a girl can dream, can’t she?) I can’t help but think that some of these tips could, in some form or another, apply to organizing the chaos that can be compliance. So, without trying to sound too much like Martha Stewart, provided are five practical steps towards spring cleaning your compliance program. Read More

The 25 Worst Passwords of 2015

For the fifth consecutive year, SplashData announced its annual "Worst Passwords List," highlighting the insecure password habits of today's internet users. Once again, "123456" and "password" maintained top positions in the number one and two spots, while "starwars," "solo" and "princess" made their first appearance. It appears that, with the anticipated release of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, several people drew inspiration from a galaxy far, far away to protect their data. Read More

How to Make (and Keep) Your Compliance Resolutions

It’s February - how many of you still have, or even remember, those New Year’s resolutions you set just a few short weeks ago? Yes? Give yourself a (well deserved) pat on the back. No? You may want to keep reading.

For many of us, New Year’s resolutions are grandly made and easily broken. Why? Because a resolution is just that – a decision. To make actual change in your personal or professional life, you need a lot more than a decision, you need a plan. Read More

CCO and Firm Caught Fabricating Branch Audits

A firm from Charlotte, North Carolina and its CCO were named respondents in a FINRA complaint alleging that the firm, acting through the CCO, provided fabricated branch inspection documents to FINRA during an examination, and falsely reported branch inspections that had never taken place. Read More