Regulatory Policy


SEC task force will scrutinize climate and ESG disclosures


OK, OK, Securities and Exchange Commission. We get the message. Climate and ESG-related disclosures will be under increased scrutiny in 2021.

Kortney Nordrum quote

Ask a CCO: How has your company prioritized data privacy compliance?

2021-03-05T13:44:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Five senior compliance practitioners tell us how their companies have reacted to recent privacy legislation like the GDPR, CCPA, and other state regulations in the pipeline.


Biden influence apparent in SEC 2021 examination priorities


The long-awaited 2021 examination priorities of the Securities and Exchange Commission were released Wednesday, with climate- and ESG-related risks unsurprisingly among areas that will receive enhanced focus.

Virginia Capitol

More than a CCPA clone? Virginia passes nation’s second comprehensive privacy law


In what might be a sign of things to come for data privacy legislation nationwide, Virginia passed the country’s second comprehensive data privacy law. How does it stack up to its peer in California?

Gary Gensler

Gary Gensler (SEC), Rohit Chopra (CFPB) play it safe at confirmation hearing


There were few surprises Tuesday during the Senate confirmation hearing for President Joe Biden’s nominations to lead the SEC (Gary Gensler, pictured) and CFPB (Rohit Chopra).

GameStop stocks

SEC halt on ‘meme stocks’ just the beginning of GameStop fallout?


The SEC over the last month has suspended trading on securities offered by 21 companies in reaction to market volatility caused by “apparent social media attempts to artificially inflate their stock price.” Could the trend lead to further regulation?


Video: SEC on right path with climate disclosures; alleged privacy lapses at Amazon troubling

2021-02-25T22:39:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Aaron Nicodemus applauds the SEC for taking steps to clarify how companies should disclose economic risks posed by climate change, while Dave Lefort is critical of alleged lapses in data security at Amazon.


SEC takes first step toward new framework for climate-related disclosures


If there were any doubts the SEC under the Biden administration will increase its expectations of public companies to assess and disclose climate change-related risks, they were laid to rest Wednesday.

Rohit Chopra

Gary Gensler (SEC), Rohit Chopra (CFPB) set for confirmation hearings March 2


President Joe Biden’s nominees to lead two key regulators—Gary Gensler at the SEC and Rohit Chopra (pictured) at the CFPB—will face Senate confirmation hearings early next month.


OSHA will handle antitrust, AML retaliation claims from whistleblowers


The Occupational Safety and Health Administration will oversee worker retaliation claims for two new categories of whistleblowers—antitrust and anti-money laundering.


SEC policy reversal puts settlement/waiver pairing back in spotlight


Acting SEC Chair Allison Herren Lee announced the Enforcement Division will no longer recommend to the Commission a settlement offer that is conditioned on granting a waiver, abruptly ending a policy that began under former Chairman Jay Clayton.


CPE Webcast: Be prepared for regulatory expectations and evolving trends in 2021

2021-02-17T15:00:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Join an expert panel for an interactive discussion on what registered investment adviser firms can expect this year in terms of requirements targeted to the financial services industry under the Biden administration.


Companies not reporting ESG initiatives are in the minority


Several reports highlight the growing trend of companies recognizing the value of aligning their business models with ESG concerns, acceding to the demands of shareholders, activists, the market, and the public.


SEC expands number of staffers authorized to launch investigations


The acting head of the Securities and Exchange Commission has expanded the number of staff authorized to issue a formal order of investigation, perhaps a sign the agency intends to launch more cases under President Joe Biden.

Margaret Richardson

Q&A: Global Widget CCO says CBD industry at regulatory ‘tipping point’


Global Widget Chief Compliance and Legal Officer Margaret Richardson talks with Compliance Week about how the company’s focus on federal and state compliance lends to leading the way in the currently unregulated cannabidiol industry.


U.K.’s SFO slapped down over attempts to flout jurisdiction rules


In another blow to the agency’s credibility, the U.K.’s Serious Fraud Office cannot attempt to force foreign companies to hand over evidence held overseas, according to a recent court ruling.

GameStop stocks

Yellen, regulators say market withstood pressure from GameStop surge


A key meeting of regulators has determined the recent spike caused by Reddit users for normally tame stocks like GameStop and AMC Entertainment has not had a significant impact on the market, which Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen termed “resilient.”


Europe handcuffed by current corporate liability laws; is change coming?


European countries have begun to question whether their laws around corporate liability need to be reformed. However, change may not be as rapid as first thought.


Treasury head Yellen calls regulators together to discuss market volatility


Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet with the heads of several regulatory agencies to discuss potential responses to the wild swings in value of GameStop and several other stocks.

Global currency

Anti-corruption developments in 2020: China, India make strides


A global panel of experts with law firm Gibson Dunn share insights around recent anti-corruption developments in some of the world’s largest regions, including China, India, Latin America, and Africa.


New SEC senior advisor will specialize in climate change, ESG


The acting chair of the Securities and Exchange Commission has created a new senior policy advisor position on climate change and ESG, another signal the agency will prioritize both areas under a Biden administration.


More Wirecard fallout: Top brass out at German finance regulator


Continuing fallout from the Wirecard scandal has led Germany’s finance minister to oust the top two officials at the country’s financial regulator, the Federal Financial Supervisory Authority (BaFin).

GameStop stocks

Compliance lessons from GameStop market insanity


Wall Street has been consumed this week watching a real-time battle unfold between retail investors and hedge funds over formerly moribund stocks like GameStop, AMC Entertainment, and BlackBerry. The compliance lessons lie in the levels of risk.

Janet Yellen

Treasury under Yellen to prioritize climate change, sanctions, AML reform


Janet Yellen takes over as leader of a Treasury Department with a lot on its plate, including studying the effects of climate change on the economy, unwinding Trump administration sanctions, revamping the Bank Secrecy Act, and more.

Cryptocurrency wallet

FinCEN again extends comment period for controversial crypto AML rules


The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network for a second time has extended the comment period for portions of its proposed AML rules aimed at peeling back the anonymity of certain kinds of cryptocurrency transactions.

Rostin Behnam

Biden taps Rostin Behnam as acting CFTC chair


The commissioners of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission unanimously elected Democrat Rostin Behnam to serve as the agency’s acting chairman.

Allison Herren Lee

Allison Herren Lee takes over as SEC acting chair


Commissioner Allison Herren Lee has assumed the role of acting chair at the Securities and Exchange Commission while President Joe Biden’s nomination to lead the agency, Gary Gensler, awaits Senate confirmation.


Parting gift: New Trump sanctions against China complex for compliance


A November executive order by former President Donald Trump banning U.S. investment in companies with ties to the Chinese military has proven difficult for compliance officers to navigate after taking effect earlier this month.

Rohit Chopra

CFPB under Chopra will be aggressive consumer watchdog, experts say


Rohit Chopra’s nomination to lead the CFPB represents a full-throated return to the combative consumer protection agency under former director Richard Cordray, experts say.

SARs chart

Analysis: Improving SARs effectiveness takes more than act of Congress


In the wake of 2020’s FinCEN Files leaks, the U.S. Treasury this year will undertake a thorough reevaluation of the country’s AML program under the Bank Secrecy Act.

Joseph Simons

FTC Chair Joseph Simons to step down Jan. 29


Federal Trade Commission Chairman Joseph Simons and a group of senior staff announced their resignations, making way for new leadership to be appointed by President-elect Joe Biden.


Video: Gensler a strong choice for SEC; Flo’s alleged privacy lapses inexcusable

2021-01-14T21:27:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Aaron Nicodemus explains why President-elect Joe Biden’s SEC chairman pick, Gary Gensler, is getting rave reviews, while Aly McDevitt criticizes the alleged privacy misdeeds of Flo Health that led to an FTC settlement.

Bank fail

OCC finalizes controversial ‘Fair Access’ rule as acting head departs


The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency published its much-criticized “Fair Access to Financial Services” rule the same day Acting Comptroller of the Currency Brian Brooks announced he is stepping down.


‘A very strong and vocal regulator’: Biden taps Gary Gensler to lead SEC


Gary Gensler, former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, has been picked to be the next chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission by President-elect Joe Biden.

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EPA’s toxic love affair with high-polluting industries needs to end


A last-minute rule change by the EPA tucked into the Federal Register without a public comment period is the culmination of a years-long chumminess with high-polluting industries that can’t end soon enough, writes Jaclyn Jaeger.

Big Tech

CJEU opinion could further expose Big Tech under GDPR


Any European Union data protection authority should be allowed to pursue legal action against Big Tech firms over privacy issues, according to an opinion from the advocate general of the region’s top court.


All signs point to aggressive consumer protection under Biden


Consumer protection initiatives are expected to be a major area of focus for President-elect Joe Biden, who is widely anticipated to breathe new life into the enforcement priorities of federal and state agencies with such powers.

US Capitol

What Senate control means for Biden’s regulatory agenda


Even with Democratic control of the House and Senate, President-elect Joe Biden will still find it difficult to pass new laws, experts say.

Merrick Garland

Biden picks Merrick Garland for AG


Merrick Garland, a federal appeals court judge whose 2016 Supreme Court nomination was thwarted by Senate Republicans, has been tapped to become U.S. attorney general by President-elect Joe Biden.


Defense bill empowers SEC in seeking return of profits from fraud


The ability of the SEC to pursue the return of profits earned in fraudulent schemes has been strengthened as part of Congress’ passage of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021.

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Temper expectations on a U.S. federal privacy law in 2021


With the collapse of the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield comes an opportunity for the United States to address its data protection shortcomings. Just don’t expect a quick fix, as a litany of issues remain.


Roisman to lead SEC transition as Clayton departs


Commissioner Elad Roisman will serve as acting chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission while the agency heads for transition under the upcoming Biden administration.


FinCEN proposes BSA reporting rule for cryptocurrency transactions


FinCEN has proposed a new rule looking to subject cryptocurrency transactions to similar AML reporting requirements placed on other financial institutions by the Bank Secrecy Act.


SEC, China react as Trump approves foreign audit oversight bill


President Donald Trump signed into law a measure that will kick publicly traded Chinese companies off U.S.-based exchanges if they refuse to allow U.S. regulators to examine their finances.

New Zealand

New Zealand’s new privacy law comes with a refreshing twist—it allows for apologies

2020-12-21T17:02:00+00:00By Mary Shirley, CW guest columnist

New Zealand’s new data privacy law allows an apology to be made without admitting guilt, a provision that follows with the island’s non-traditional form of leadership as one that focuses on empathy and the well-being of the people.


Third time’s a charm? SEC adopts controversial extraction rules


After two failed iterations, the SEC has approved revamped rules laying out what commercial oil, natural gas, and mineral extraction companies must disclose about payments they make to U.S. and foreign governments.


Congress passes defense bill with big ramifications for AML, whistleblowers


Congress’ defense spending bill approved Friday includes amendments that could dramatically alter the fight against money laundering, in addition to a new BSA whistleblower program with some kinks to be worked out.

Data sharing

New FinCEN guidance encourages information sharing among banks


FinCEN Director Kenneth Blanco announced updated guidance to encourage more financial institutions to share information among their peers regarding suspicious transactions.


Five challenges for European CCOs heading into 2021


Many of the problems European compliance officers faced in 2020 will remain in place going into the new year, but new risks and new regulations will also present new challenges.


Video: Compliance pros, cons included in Congress defense spending bill

2020-12-10T18:45:00+00:00By Compliance Week

Beneficial ownership provisions contained in Congress’ defense spending bill should go a long way in the fight against money laundering, but holes in the bill’s proposed whistleblower program are open for criticism, says Aaron Nicodemus.