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SEC Provides Conditional Regulatory Relief for Registered Transfer Agents and Certain Other Persons Affected by COVID-19

On March 22, the Securities and Exchange Commission announced that registered transfer agents and certain other persons would be provided with conditional relief from their regulatory obligations under federal securities laws through May 30, 2020. Among other conditions, persons that wish to avail themselves of the regulatory relief must provide written notice to the SEC that such person is taking advantage of the relief, a description of the specific regulatory obligations that the person is unable to comply with, and a statement of reasons explaining why the person is unable to comply with such obligations. However, transfer agents shall continue to be subject to the requirements of Securities Exchange Act of 1934 Rule 17Ad-12, which requires transfer agents to adequately safeguard securities and funds in their possession or custody.

The press release and SEC Order are available here.

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About this Author

Susan Light, Katten Law Firm, Finance Law Attorney, New York

Susan Light focuses her practice on financial services regulatory matters. She counsels broker-dealers, hedge funds, investment banks and financial services clients on enforcement issues involving the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), other self-regulatory organizations (SROs) and state and federal regulatory authorities. She has particular experience related to sales practice issues, financial and operational issues, anti-money laundering, crowdfunding, cybersecurity, and cryptocurrencies.

Michael T. Foley, Katten, Lawyer, Finance, FINRA, Chicago
Special Counsel

Michael Foley represents broker-dealers, investment advisers and other financial services industry participants with respect to a broad spectrum of legal and regulatory matters arising under the federal securities laws.

Michael has nearly 20 years of experience in private practice and in-house at both a large, full-service broker-dealer and at an online discount broker-dealer, advising broker-dealers and other financial institutions regarding compliance with the federal securities and commodities laws, and with the regulations of the US Securities and Exchange Commission, the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission and financial industry self-regulatory organizations. 

Jack West Financial Attorney Katten

Jack West is an associate in the Financial Markets and Funds practice.