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OTC Markets Blog

Latest commentary on Market Structure, Compliance, Small Cap and Reg A+ issues, including insights on the news and trends that affect the public markets.

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Regulation

Exploring the Investor Impact of an SEC Rule Proposal

The SEC’s proposed amendments to Rule 15c2-11 focus on ways to incentivize additional company disclosure in the public markets.  While we strongly support the overall goals of the proposed amendments to increase information availability for investors, we are mindful that this rule has far reaching implications that will reduce market efficiency in certain areas.  Continue reading “Exploring the Investor Impact of an SEC Rule Proposal”

Are CRE Concentrations Still a Financial Crisis Prognosticator?

During the Great Recession, commercial real estate (CRE) lending practices were heavily scrutinized and considered to be a leading factor of economic downturn. As a result, bank concentrations in CRE are assumed to be a strong predictor of bank failures.

Over a decade later, rising bank CRE lending concentration levels accompanied by historically high CRE prices have many economists convinced that regulations need to be revisited so history doesn’t repeat itself. As they debate whether or not current CRE lending practices are an accurate prognosticator, recent Qaravan data tells a far more nuanced story. Continue reading “Are CRE Concentrations Still a Financial Crisis Prognosticator?”

Key Takeaways From Regulators’ Recent CECL Final Policy Statement

In late December, an interagency body of regulators closed the comment period for a set of proposed changes to the ever-evolving CECL standard.  Regulators have recently come back with their responses to industry comments in the form of the “Final Policy Statement for FASB ASC Topic 326” found here:  https://www.fdic.gov/news/board/2020/2020-02-20-notational-fr.pdf Continue reading “Key Takeaways From Regulators’ Recent CECL Final Policy Statement”

CBLR: A win for most, but time for the rest to move on

In November, the federal banking agencies jointly issued a final rule that provides for an optional, simplified measure of capital adequacy, known as the community bank leverage ratio framework (CBLR), for qualifying community banking organizations. The final became effective on January 1, 2020.

Continue reading “CBLR: A win for most, but time for the rest to move on”

CECL is Coming: Here’s How Bank Stakeholders Can Anticipate Its Impact While Making Their Voices Heard

With the most sweeping re-casting of credit risk management in decades looming on the horizon, regulators, bank executives and the markets are bracing for the potential disruptive ramifications of this new set of credit loss accounting standards. In response to calls for a more cautious rollout, regulators have agreed to an implementation extension for most community banks. Continue reading “CECL is Coming: Here’s How Bank Stakeholders Can Anticipate Its Impact While Making Their Voices Heard”

By Putting UBPR and Call Reports Under the Microscope with Qaravan, Investors and Bank Stakeholders Can Gain Meaningful Insight Far Beyond Raw Data

The banking industry is unique in the amount of regulatory scrutiny it is subject to, much of which is in the form of self-reporting. Since legislation was passed in 1975 in response to the failure of two federally chartered institutions (United States National Bank and Franklin National Bank), every national bank, state bank, federal savings bank, federal savings association, and credit union is mandated by law to report highly standardized and detailed information about its operations to a central authority, the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (FFIEC).

Continue reading “By Putting UBPR and Call Reports Under the Microscope with Qaravan, Investors and Bank Stakeholders Can Gain Meaningful Insight Far Beyond Raw Data”

ESOPs: The Importance of Small Company Employee Ownership

Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) allow employees to participate in the economic performance of a company, share in corporate profits, and save for retirement.  Congress has long recognized the advantages of employee ownership by authorizing and encouraging ESOPs through favorable tax treatment.

However, current IRS regulations significantly restrict the ability of many small public companies not traded on a national securities exchange to offer ESOPs to their employees.  These outdated regulations negatively impact hundreds of qualified, U.S.-based companies on the OTCQX and OTCQB markets that collectively employ over 100,000 workers. Continue reading “ESOPs: The Importance of Small Company Employee Ownership”

Blue Sky Recognition Continues to Gain Traction

OTC Markets Group Garners Blue Sky Exemptions in 35 States

Since May 2016, we have fostered an active dialogue with constituents at the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and individual state regulators with the goal of providing investors, companies, brokers and other market participants with a defined regulatory structure that recognizes the transparent current disclosure provided by OTCQX and OTCQB companies.  We appreciate the hard work and diligence of NASAA members as we work to achieve important exemptions for our OTCQX and OTCQB markets under state Blue Sky laws governing secondary trading. Continue reading “Blue Sky Recognition Continues to Gain Traction”

Regulation A 2019 Progress Report

Born out of the 2012 JOBS Act, Regulation A (Reg A) was amended to provide a streamlined pathway for companies to raise up to $50 Million while benefiting from general solicitation, ‘testing the waters’ and state Blue Sky preemption.  SEC reporting companies were originally excluded from using Reg A; however, in January 2019, the SEC adopted new rules to expand Reg A to SEC-reporting companies, enabling public companies to raise capital in a similar manner to a traditional IPO via an S-1 registration or an S-3 shelf registration. Continue reading “Regulation A 2019 Progress Report”

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