On March 11, 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 is now classified as a pandemic. Between WHO, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other similar organizations, efforts are being made to halt the spread of the virus as quickly as possible.
The financial industry continues to be affected by COVID-19, leading regulatory bodies to release statements and act on this matter in multiple capacities. Below is a summary of how some organizations are responding to COVID-19 concerns.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission: On March 4, the SEC stated that it is “closely monitoring the impact of the coronavirus on investors and capital markets” and announced that, under certain conditions, publicly traded companies will be provided an additional 45 days to file selected disclosure reports. On March 10, the SEC became the first Washington DC-area federal agency to ask employees to work from home. The decision was made after a DC office employee tested positive for the virus.
- The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority: FINRA released information asking firms to review their Business Continuity Plans, a requirement under FINRA regulations. Certain forms of regulatory relief are being exercised and firms are asked to take additional cybersecurity precautions, among other measures and exceptions. FINRA is requesting that employees and stakeholders use additional safeguards when attending events and conferences.
- The National Futures Association and Commodity Futures Trading Commission: NFA and CFTC are prepared to enact regulatory relief if deemed necessary. The organizations encourage members to review their Business Continuity Plans and add provisions regarding pandemic planning.
- CFA Institute: CFA Institute released general guidance and health advice to its members and affiliates. The organization stated it will notify relevant parties if CFA Institute event plans change.
- The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency: CISA published documentation to assist with physical, supply chain, and cybersecurity risk management planning. The agency is monitoring the spread of the virus and working with its federal partners to mitigate effects of widespread security threats resulting from COVID-19.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR ME?
As COVID-19 continues to take hold internationally, we encourage you to continue with recommended precautions and to optimize business continuity, disaster recovery, and pandemic planning efforts within your organization. Fairview is available to address questions about pandemic planning and COVID-19 related regulatory relief provisions.