FINRA issues regulatory notice to member firms regarding U.S. sanctions against Russia

On Behalf of | Mar 2, 2022 | FINRA Compliance

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority has issued an alert to member firms regarding the sanctions imposed by the United States government following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

In Regulatory Notice 22-06, FINRA encouraged member firms to continue to monitor the situation and check the Department of Treasury’s Office of Foreign Asset Control (OFAC) web site for sanctions-related developments.

The regulatory notice reviewed the actions taken by the U.S. government against Russia last week, beginning on Feb. 21 when President Biden signed an executive order prohibiting new investment, trade and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic and Luhansk People’s Republic of Ukraine. The order also prohibits the importation into the United States, directly or indirectly, any goods, services or technology from those regions, which had been recognized as ‘independent’ states by Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The following day, the Department of the Treasury took further action by sanctioning two major Russian state-owned financial institutions, imposing additional restrictions on Russian sovereign debt, and sanctioning five elites connected to the Kremlin. The Treasury said it was “targeting Russia’s ability to finance aggression against its neighbors.”

On February 24, the OFAC announced additional steps aimed at imposing severe costs on Russia’s economy and financial system. These included sanctions against Russia’s two largest banks and nearly 90 financial institution subsidiaries around the world. Officials said the actions target almost 80 percent of all banking assets in Russia.

“Treasury is taking serious and unprecedented action to deliver swift and severe consequences to the Kremlin and significantly impair their ability to use the Russian economy and financial system to further their malign activity,” said Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen.

The actions were taken under Executive Order 14024, which authorizes sanctions against Russia for its harmful foreign activities.

Further information about the regulatory notice and details about the entities and individuals targeted by the sanctions can be found here.

The attorneys at Lewitas Hyman fully understand the regulatory scrutiny financial professionals and their firms face from the various regulators that oversee the financial services industry. Additionally, we regularly monitor SEC, FINRA and other self-regulatory organization rule-making activities to help ensure that our clients are aware of any new policies, while assisting them in implementing any recommended changes. Contact our FINRA compliance lawyers today at (312) 291-4600 or through our online contact form.

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