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02 April 2019
In January 2019, FINRA issued its annual "Risk Monitoring and Examination Priorities Letter." The full text of the letter may be found here.
The letter addresses a variety of issues that must be addressed by all broker-dealers, whether or not they offer structured products. This particular asset class is not discussed at length in the letter, possibly due in part to FINRA's note in its introduction that: "we do not [in this letter] repeat topics that have been mainstays of FINRA's attention over the years."
However, the letter makes it clear that sales of complex products, including structured products, must be reviewed as to whether they comply with FINRA's suitability rules. In particular, the letter notes that:
"As the exchange-traded product (ETP) market continues to grow with novel and increasingly complex products, FINRA will evaluate whether firms are meeting their suitability obligations and risk disclosure obligations when recommending such products. These include leveraged and inverse exchange-traded funds (ETFs), floating-rate loan ETFs (also known as bank-loan or leveraged loan funds) and mutual funds that invest in loans extended to highly indebted companies of lower credit quality."
For further information on this topic please contact Lloyd Harmetz at Morrision and Foerster's New York office by telephone (+1 212 468 8000) or email (email@example.com). Alternatively, please contact Peter Green or Jeremy Jennings-Mares at Morrison & Foerster LLP's London office by telephone (+44 20 7920 4000) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The Morrison & Foerster LLP website can be accessed at www.mofo.com.
This update has been reproduced in its original format from Lexology – www.Lexology.com.
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