Category: FINRA

FINRA: In December, 2015, FINRA proposed rules for a whole new category of broker-dealer, called “Capital Acquisition Brokers” (“CABs”), which limit their business to corporate financing transactions. In February 2014 FINRA sought comment on the proposal, which at the time referred to a CAB as a limited corporate financing broker (LCFB). Following many comments that the LCFB rules did not have a significant impact on the regulatory burden for full member firms, the new rules modify the original LCFB proposal in more than just name. The new rules will take effect upon approval by the SEC and are currently open to public comments…

Oct072009

Potential Impact of Rule SEC Release #34-60515 Regarding Proposal to Extend Regulation NMS Coverage to OTC Securities

FINRA, in August of 2009, filed Release No. 34-60515 with the SEC. FINRA proposes to extend certain NMS protections to quoting and trading in the OTC market for equity securities.

In summary:

  1. Restrictions on sub-penny quoting;
  2. Prohibitions on locked or crossed markets;
  3. Implementation of caps on access fees;
  4. Requirements of transparency of customer limit orders.

FINRA’s goals, part of broadly anticipated changes in financial systems, are proposed as part of efforts to both modernize and achieve higher “quality” in the OTC marketplace.

1. Sub-Penny Quote Restrictions

FINRA addresses both issues of modernization and higher quality by proposing to restrict sub-penny quoting in conjunction with removing the requirement that ATS’s include non-subscriber access fees within its quote. Restricting sub-penny quoting may help prevent the practice of “stepping ahead” of displayed limit orders by trivial amounts.

The proposal will most effect small businesses whose securities trade for under $1.00. Under FINRA’s proposal, market participants will be able to quote in increments ranging

Oct032009

Market Makers Rely on Due Diligence in Reverse Mergers

Following approval of the 15c2-11 application by FINRA, and the consistent quotation of a company’s securities, market makers may “piggy back” on the approved and completed 15c2-11. In short, a market maker may quote the share price of the Bulletin Board Shell while relying on the due diligence of other market makers and the company’s current SEC filings.

Although highly technical, the due diligence process can be completed quickly and thoroughly by an experienced securities attorney; the key is knowing where to look and what to look for. For example:

  • All articles and amendments are ordered from the company’s state of domicile and reviewed for procedural correctness and historical understanding.
  • DTC (the Depository Trust Company) is contacted to confirm the company is in a transferable status.
  • In addition to financial statement review, using several proprietary online search services, the firm conducts comprehensive debt and litigation searches to identify any miscellaneous debts as well as pending or past litigation.
  • A tax
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