Securities Industry Commentator by Bill Singer Esq

April 26, 2018
SUMMARY: We are adopting revisions to forms filed under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act") to eliminate the portion of those forms that requests filers to furnish certain personally identifiable information ("PII") of natural persons, including Social Security numbers. 
. . .
Commission rules and regulations require the filing of information by natural persons, as well as by corporate and other entities. We are amending certain forms that request filers to provide certain sensitive PII of natural persons, including Social Security numbers.8 The amended forms will no longer include any reference to such PII and will no longer request such PII. We have determined that the Commission can achieve its regulatory objectives without the sensitive PII that will no longer be requested on these forms. 

You Hear The One About The FINRA Arbitration Involving The Stockbroker With 36 BrokerCheck Disclosures? ( Blog)
You're an angry public customer. You think that your stockbroker stole $50,000 of your retirement funds. No . . . that jerk didn't lose it in the market or playin' the ponies. From what you heard, he simply deposited your hard-earned money into a bank account under his control. Frankly, you sort of wish it were more exotic but, what's that line about the banality of evil? In any event, you've also heard that the stockbroker likely blew all your cash and probably all his too -- regardless of what you're hearing, the guy worked at a broker-dealer and their sign is still lit and their doors still open. So, why waste time and play games going after the employee when the employer may have the deep pockets?
Assistant Attorney General for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division Makan Delrahim, announced that the Division will terminate outdated judgments that "presently do little more than clog court dockets, create unnecessary uncertainty for businesses or, in some cases, may actually elicit anticompetitive market conditions."  Delrahim asserts that in 1979, the Division adopted the general practice of including sunset provisions that automatically terminate judgments, usually 10 years from entry.  Notwithstanding that policy, nearly 1300 "legacy" judgments remain on the Division's books and on the dockets of courts around the country. It is Delrahim's position that such judgments no longer protect competition because of changes in industry conditions, economics, and law. Accordingly,the Division will review its legacy judgments and determine whether the continuation of a given judgment serves competition. Candidates for termination will be posted on the public website so as to elicit comments before any termination is finalized.
SEC Chair Clayton stated:

Last week, the Commission proposed for public comment a significant rulemaking package that would (1) require broker-dealers to act in the best interest of their retail customers; (2) reaffirm and in some cases clarify the fiduciary duty owed by investment advisers to their clients; and (3) require both broker-dealers and investment advisers to clarify for all retail investors the type of investment professional they are, and key facts about their relationship, as well as prohibit the use of "adviser" and "advisor" in certain circumstances, as such titles may mislead retail investors.

This rulemaking is designed to serve our Main Street investors.  In particular, it is intended to bring legal requirements and mandated disclosure in line with investor expectations.  I found engagement directly with retail investors and the financial professionals who serve them during the pre-rulemaking period, including a roundtable in St. Louis, to be tremendously useful.  I believe we need to continue that effort by reaching out directly to investors and other market participants across the country.

I have asked the SEC staff to put together a series of roundtables, focused on the retail investor, to be held in different cities around the country - including in Atlanta, Denver, Houston, and Miami.  These roundtables are intended to help us gather much-needed information straight from those who will be most directly impacted by our rulemaking.  I intend to participate personally in many of these roundtables.

These efforts are one component of a broad engagement effort on this issue.  For example, we invite investors to provide their views on key questions that will help us shape the disclosure designed for them.  Investors may respond to these key questions using a short, fillable form.  Moreover, the SEC's Investor Advocate is in the process of performing investor testing, and we anticipate making the results of that investor testing available in the public comment file.

More information about these events will be announced in the upcoming weeks.  If you are interested in participating in one of these events, staff contact information will be made available in a forthcoming press release; we urge you to reach out, and we will seek to accommodate you.