The Securities and Exchange Commission and the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority announced several measures in mid-March in reaction to the coronavirus.
The SEC issued regulatory relief to mutual funds and advisors related to reporting forms.
RIAs with filing deadlines before April 30 have an extra 45 days from their deadlines to file an amendment to Form ADV or file reports on Form ADV part 1A — which details an advisor’s business, ownership, clients, employees, business practices, affiliations, and any disciplinary events of the advisor or its employees.The forms normally are due within 90 days after a firm’s fiscal year.
Form ADV and Form PF — for private fund advisors — have now been extended to June 30.
The commission also said it would not seek an enforcement action if a registered fund does not “timely” deliver to investors the current fund prospectus because of circumstances related to coronavirus. Fund boards also were given relief from holding in-person meetings.
SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said the extensions “provide additional time so affected funds and advisers can continue meeting the expectations of their investors and clients.”
The SEC said that it continues to assess impacts relating to the coronavirus on investors and market participants and “will consider additional relief from other regulatory requirements.” The agency encouraged financial professionals affected by the coronavirus to contact the SEC with questions.
SEC enforcement and exam divisions remain fully operational and are monitoring the markets for frauds, illicit schemes and other misconduct tied to COVID-19. As circumstances warrant, the securities regulator “will issue trading suspensions and use enforcement tools as appropriate.”
FINRA said in a notice on its website that the broker-dealer regulator is canceling or postponing all FINRA events scheduled through May 14, including its annual conference in Washington in May. It has set up a web page for virus-related updates.
FINRA also postponed all in-person arbitration and mediation proceedings set to take place through May 31, 2020. “If you have an in-person hearing or mediation session that is postponed as a result of this decision, you will be contacted by FINRA staff to reschedule or discuss remote scheduling options,” it explained in a statement.
Other FINRA case deadlines are unchanged and “must be timely met unless the parties jointly agree otherwise.”
Washington Bureau Chief Melanie Waddell can be reached at [email protected].