Hot Topic | July 2020

 

Insight

SEC issues update on COVID-19 regulatory relief

SEC leaders have issued a statement summarizing current regulatory relief available to COVID-19 affected companies.

Applicability

  • Public companies, investment companies and other market participants affected by COVID-19

Key impacts

On June 26, 2020, leaders from various divisions of the SEC issued a joint public statement summarizing and updating the COVID-19 temporary relief and assistance provided by the Commission and staff. The SEC has remained fully functioning throughout the pandemic and stated it will continue to assess the need for further regulatory action, including appropriate, targeted relief during times of operational challenges and market volatility as the pandemic continues. 

The following table summarizes the SEC’s regulatory actions, targeted relief and assistance, including updates made by the Commission in this cross-divisional statement based on recent developments, current conditions and expectations. 

Relevant dates

Division of Corporation Finance

Currently effective Effective/Expiration dates

Facilitating capital formation for small businesses

August 31, 2020

Forms 144 and other paper submissions

Effective until further notice

Authentication and retention requirements of Rule 302(b) of Reg S-T

Effective until further notice

Conducting shareholder meetings

Available; limited use expected

Proxy material delivery accommodation

Available; limited use expected

Expired

Additional time to file public company reports

July 1, 2020

Additional time to file Reg A and Reg Crowdfunding reports

May 31, 2020

Division of Investment Management

Currently effective Effective/Expiration dates

Form N-23C-2 (advance notice by registered closed-end funds and business development companies (BDCs) to call or redeem securities)

August 15, 2020

Term asset-backed securities loan facility (TALF 2020) no-action letter

September 30, 2020

Temporary regulatory flexibility to assist BDCs in fulfilling their statutory mandate

The earlier of December 31, 2020 and the date the BDC ceases to rely on conditional exemptive order

In-person board meetings

Effective until further notice, but not earlier than December 31, 2020.

International mail service suspensions to certain jurisdictions

When mail delivery service by jurisdiction’s common carrier is resumed

Short-term funding flexibility for open-end funds and separate accounts

Effective until further notice

Affiliated purchases of debt securities in light of market dislocation no-action letters

Effective until further notice

Authentication and retention requirements of Rule 302(b) of Reg S-T

Effective until further notice

Conducting shareholder meetings

Available; limited use expected

Expired

Prospectus delivery

June 30, 2020

Transmittal of annual and semi-annual reports

June 30, 2020

Form N-CEN (annual report for registered investment companies) and Form N-PORT (monthly portfolio investments report)

June 30, 2020

Form ADV and Form ADV Part 1A Reports

June 30, 2020

Form ADV Part 2 Brochures, Brochure Supplements, and Summary of Material Changes

June 30, 2020

Form PF

June 30, 2020

Division of Trading and Markets

Currently effective Effective/Expiration dates

Extension of certain deadlines under Rule 606 of Regulation NMS:

  • Providing the first related customer-specific reports

 

July 29, 2020

 

Certain COVID-19 related FINRA guidance and relief

July 31, 2020

TALF 2020 Order

September 30, 2020

Conditional relief to municipal advisors

December 31, 2020

Relief relating to the broker-dealer financial responsibility rules:

  • Quarterly securities count

 

December 31, 2020

 

Facilitating the continued and orderly operation of national securities exchanges

When exchanges resume normal floor trading operations 

International mail service suspensions to certain jurisdictions

When mail delivery service by jurisdiction’s common carrier is resumed

Registered transfer agent relief

Effective until further notice

Relief from fingerprinting requirements

Effective until further notice

Paper submissions, manual signatures and notarization requirements

Effective until further notice

Authentication and retention requirements of Rule 302(b) of Reg S-T

Effective until further notice

Consolidated audit trail (CAT) reporting deadlines

Phased reporting timeline consistent with the February 19, 2020 exemptive request

Expired

Extension of certain deadlines under Rule 606 of Regulation NMS:

 
  • Quarterly disclosure requirements
May 29, 2020
  • Collection of monthly customer-specific data by certain broker-dealers engaged in outsourced routing activity
June 1, 2020

Relief relating to the broker-dealer financial responsibility rules:

 

  • The prompt transmission of customers checks
June 30, 2020

Other

Currently effective Effective/Expiration dates

Pending administrative proceedings

Effective until further notice

Expired

Exemption from certain requirements of the Exchange Act for municipal advisors

June 30, 2020

Relief for Form ID filers, and Reg Crowdfunding and Reg A issuers

July 1, 2020

 


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