Traditions

Before the invention of computers, financial practices were conducted with reliance upon tangible forms of security and personal insights into the character of those who were pledging collateral. Digitization of securities, currencies and recordkeeping has created new traditions, with new regulations. Examining the evolution of financial market traditions over time helps us understand how we should conduct business in the 21st Century realm of digital innovations like blockchain and distributed ledgers.


Home

Sunday, December 20, 2020

Compliance with the DOL's New Proxy Rules May Stump ERISA Fiduciaries

A counter-revolution in ESG Investing?

Author: David Schwartz

On Friday, December 11, the Department of Labor (DOL) issued its final rules on proxy voting by ERISA fiduciaries. As proposed last August 30, the draft rules drew hundreds of responses by the ESG-directed investing community, many of which criticized as unworkable the DOL proposal. The final version of the rules eliminates the need for plan sponsors to weigh the economic vs. non-economic effects before casting their proxy votes. Yet that softer, principles-based approach may itself create compliance problems for ERISA fiduciaries -- and may not even survive the first hundred days of the Biden administration.

Comments (0)
Number of views (195)

Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Banking Leaders set to Control 'Shadow Exposures'

Supply Chains in Securities Finance to be Clarified and Stabilized

Author: David Schwartz

Shadow banking is history, say banking leaders, a thing of the past. New compliance and risk management systems based on the Securities Finance Transaction Regulation (SFTR) and the industry’s evolving Common Domain Model (CDM) will enable financial service providers to regulate their clients' exposure to counterparties with far more specificity than ever before possible. Originally accepted as a regulatory imposition, bankers are now viewing the SFTR reports of their loan principals as a platform to help state pension funds and others meet their ESG and tax compliance goals with unprecedented precision — along with proof of funding.

Comments (0)
Number of views (281)

Monday, November 9, 2020

EU Tax Officials to Audit Securities Finance

Search for WHT Abusers Will Upend Regulatory Infrastructure

Author: Ed Blount

ESMA has recommended that the market regulators in EU Member States combine trade data generated from the Securities Finance Transaction Regulation (SFTR) with local surveillance data and empower tax authorities to catch and indict tax abusers. To the abusers, that is like saying that the Sheriff and Posse are closing in on their SFTR trails. (No kidding. What did they think? So if the abusers haven’t created defenses by this time, it’s already too late.) To the legitimate lenders, it’s like, ok, can I work within these new rules? Institutional lenders will ask, "What effect does it have on my lending income?" Their agents will ask, "What effect will this have on my and career, especially if my firm cannot meet the higher disclosure standards implied by the prospect of tax audits?

Comments (0)
Number of views (420)

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Squaring ESG with Securities Lending

Compliance without Knowing the Borrower's Purpose - Is it Possible?

Author: David Schwartz

Sustainable investing is becoming more important to investors when creating portfolios. As a result, institutions often follow policies with formal environmental, social, and governance (ESG) factors to guide their investments. They commit substantial resources to ESG research and produce comprehensive reports about their compliance.[1] But then the same institutions give away their proxy votes when they lend securities for fees to cover their bank charges. And the loans of those securities – and their proxies – go to borrowers with unknown intentions, and often with unknown identities.

Comments (0)
Number of views (669)

Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Alarm Raised on Stock Loans for "Withholding Tax Schemes”

Findings Point to a New Role for Emerging Fintech

Author: David Schwartz

European commissioners are reviewing a study from their securities and market authority (ESMA) that includes a recommendation for new laws to combat unfair trading practices and an extended remit for National Competent Authorities (NCAs) to conduct snap audits of securities loans and transactors. Loans deemed to be suspicious would prompt an inquiry to determine penalties for unfair strategies and inappropriate beneficiaries. However, useful audit results may be doubtful based on our preliminary review that uncovered shortcomings in the proposed SFTR surveillance datasets, as well as possible flaws in the study’s basic methodology. 

Comments (0)
Number of views (744)
RSS