Brokers News 

Has your broker or advisor landed on FINRA’s ‘bad guy’ list?

“In other words, how well do you know your advisor or broker?” writes -andy Penry for cnbc.com. In December alone, brokerage firms agreed (without admitting or denying guilt) to an aggregate $2.4 million in fines — and more than half of that amount arose from inadequate supervision of brokers who caused investor harm, according to the latest rundown of enforcement actions by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. Commonly called FINRA, it’s the self-regulatory organization for roughly 630,000 brokers — some of whom also are registered with the Securities and Exchange…

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News Regulators 

Fed officials cited fears about China and Europe in backing away from rate hikes

“Additionally, Fed officials became increasingly nervous about government policy, especially Trump’s trade negotiations and the prospect of further shutdowns” reports washingtonexaminer.com. That decision was widely regarded as a major reversal from Fed officials’ suggests in previous months that they were planning on tightening monetary policy throughout 2019. Source: washingtonexaminer.com

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News 

SEC Charges ICO With Selling Unregistered Securities After Startup Self-Reports

“The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has charged crypto firm Gladius Network with selling unregistered securities after the company self-reported to the commission, an SEC press release reveals on Feb. 20” writes Adrian Zmudzinski for cointelegraph.com. In the same month, news broke that 2018 witnessed a significant uptick in the number of ICOs authorized by the SEC to sell unregistered securities to large-scale investors, in what it refers to as an exemption.The report also specifies: The company will reportedly return funds to investors who request it and register…

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News 

NY Court reschedules oral argument in “mega lawsuit” against FXCM Inc

“The lawsuit, which consolidates several actions brought on behalf of FXCM investors, represents a federal securities class action” reports financefeeds.com. There has been a slight change in the timing of the proceedings in the lawsuit launched by investors in FXCM Inc, now known as Global Brokerage Inc (OTCMKTS:GLBR).The plaintiffs seek to recover compensable damages caused by alleged violations of federal securities laws by FXCM and its top executives. Source: financefeeds.com

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News 

This Utah case is a lesson in why you shouldn’t let friends or family pick your financial adviser

“Financial advisers should be registered either as a broker/dealer or as an investment adviser, Roper says” writes Liz Weston for marketwatch.com. If the person you’re checking out is an investment adviser rather than a broker, the tool will send you to the Investment Advisor Public Disclosure database.To protect yourself, Roper recommends the following steps to vet financial advisers: Make sure the adviser is properly registered.At the very least, it’s worth talking to the adviser about what you find if you’re already a client. Source: marketwatch.com

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News 

SFC Fines Guosen Securities HK$15.2m for Violating AML rules

“The Hong Kong regulator said that those deposits were worth around 5 billion Hong Kong dollars ($637 million)” writes David Kimberley for financemagnates.com. According to the SFC, Guosen processed over 10,000 third party deposits, for approximately 3,500 clients, between November 2014 and December 2015. Guosen has also, the SFC said, implemented new compliance procedures to ensure it doesn’t break AML rules in the future.According to the SFC, 2,200 of those third party deposits, totalling around 2.3 billion Hong Kong dollars ($293 million), were suspect. Source: financemagnates.com

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Crypto News 

Luxembourg Turns Blockchain Framework Bill into Law

“Luxembourg parliament passed a blockchain bill into law to facilitate the use of blockchain technology in the financial services” writes Arnab Shome for financemagnates.com. The bill 7363 was passed with a massive approval as only 2 out of 60 lawmakers voted against the bill.According to the February 14th official announcement, the new law will provide transparency to the financial market participants and assure legal certainty for the circulation of securities using the blockchain technology. “The transfer of securities via the blockchain does not yet have legal certainty.The new legal framework…

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Brokers Markets News 

SFC Issues Further Notices to Brokers for Client Misconduct

“The three brokers in question are Changjiang Securities Brokerage (HK) Limited, Haitong International Securities Company Limited and Kingston Securities Limited” writes Celeste Skinner for financemagnates.com. The SFC highlights that the restriction notices will not impact the broker’s operations nor their other clients which aren’t suspected of market misconduct.At the beginning of this year, the SFC issued a similar restriction notice to three other brokers – Fulbright Securities Limited, Futu Securities International (Hong Kong) Limited and Gong Ping Securities Limited, as Finance Magnates reported.All three brokers are regulated and licensed under…

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Crypto News 

Luxembourg Passes Blockchain Framework Bill Into Law

“The new law aims provide financial market participants with more transparency and legal certainty in regard to the circulation of securities with blockchain technology” writes Ana Alexandre for cointelegraph.com. According to local news outlet Luxembourg Time, the bill grants transactions done with blockchain technology the same legal status and protection as those done through traditional means.Luxembourg lawmakers have passed bill 7363 into law, facilitating the use of blockchain technology in financial services, according to an official announcement published by the country’s parliament, the Chamber of Deputies, on Feb. 14.Luxembourg is…

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News 

Amazon loaded up on low-risk government bonds last year as investors dumped tech stocks

“The category of government and agency securities includes Treasury notes, like two-year and 10-year bonds, and securities issued by government-sponsored enterprises like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac” writes Jeniece Pettitt for cnbc.com. Amazon increased its U.S. government and agency securities holdings by a record $6.8 billion in 2018, ending the year with $11.7 billion worth of the debt, the most ever, according to the company’s annual report.That’s more than double the amount Amazon had in the previous year and the most as a percentage of total cash, equivalents and marketable…

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