WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 26, 2020) — In response to the ongoing novel coronavirus pandemic, more than 30 state securities regulators to date are providing temporary relief from a variety of regulatory requirements, Maryland Securities Commissioner Melanie Senter Lubin told the Financial Stability Oversight Council (FSOC) at its public meeting today.
“State securities regulators have been working together closely to provide financial service professionals with the temporary relief needed to withstand challenges caused by the COVID-19 outbreak, while at the same time ensuring that investors are protected from frauds,” Commissioner Lubin said.
The FSOC is responsible for coordinating financial regulators to identify systemic risks to the nation’s financial stability. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act authorizes a state securities regulator, state insurance commissioner, and a state banking supervisor to serve as non-voting members of the FSOC. Commissioner Lubin was appointed to a two-year term representing state securities regulators on the FSOC by the Board of Directors of the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
NASAA has developed a resource on its website to track regulatory updates from its members related to the COVID-19 outbreak. The COVID-19 Update Center is available here.
Commissioner Lubin told FSOC members that several state securities regulators have taken steps to extend certain deadlines and provide temporary relief from a variety of requirements. NASAA has assisted in this effort by drafting a model emergency order for states to adapt to grant temporary relief from certain registration, filing and form delivery requirements.
“While state securities authorities are working to help financial professionals withstand our current difficulties, we remain focused on our mission to protect investors from opportunistic frauds,” Lubin said. “We are diligently monitoring for fraudulent activities, especially those that arise when the unscrupulous work to monetize fear.”
She also said investor advisories have been issued by individual states and NASAA to be on alert for people soliciting investments in companies offering such things as testing breakthroughs and miracle cures.
“As always, we recommend that investors perform due diligence on financial professionals by contacting their state securities regulator or searching for the person or firm on FINRA’s BrokerCheck service or the Investment Adviser Public Disclosure website,” she said. “We will continue to do our part to address the current difficulties while advancing the cause of investor protection.”