SEC Offers Regulatory Relief for Florence

SEC Offers Regulatory Relief for Florence

The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Wednesday that it is providing regulatory relief to accountants, transfer agents, municipal advisors, publicly traded companies, investment companies, and others affected by Hurricane Florence where the loss of property, power, transportation and mail delivery posed challenges for individuals and entities that are required to provide information to the SEC and shareholders.

To address compliance issues, the Commission issued an order that conditionally exempts affected persons from certain requirements of the federal securities laws for periods following Florence.

The Commission also adopted interim final temporary rules that extend the filing deadlines for specified reports and forms that companies must file pursuant to Regulation Crowdfunding and Regulation A.

In connection with the Commission relief, issued in the order and interim final temporary rules, the Commission staff will take the following no-action positions with respect to affected parties’ obligations under the Exchange Act, the Securities Act, and the Investment Advisers Act:

  • For purposes of eligibility to use Form S-3 (and for well-known seasoned issuer status, which is based in part on Form S-3 eligibility), a company relying on the exemptive order will be considered current and timely in its Exchange Act filing requirements during the relief period if it was current and timely as of the first day of the relief period. After the relief period, a company will continue to be considered current and timely if it files any required report on or before Oct. 29, 2018.
  • For purposes of the Form S-8 eligibility requirements and the current public information eligibility requirements of Rule 144(c), a company relying on the exemptive order will be considered current in its Exchange Act filing requirements during the relief period if it was current as of the first day of the relief period.  After the relief period, a company will continue to be considered current if it files any required report on or before Oct. 29, 2018.
  • Companies that receive an extension on filing Exchange Act annual reports or quarterly reports pursuant to the order will be considered to have a due date of Oct. 29, 2018.  As such, those companies will be permitted to rely on Rule 12b-25 if they are unable to file the required reports on or before the due date.
  • During the period from Sept. 14, 2018 to Oct. 26, 2018, a registered open-end investment company and a registered unit investment trust will be considered to have satisfied the requirements of Section 5(b)(2) of the Securities Act to deliver a summary or a statutory prospectus, as applicable, to an investor, provided that: (1) the sale of shares to the investor was not an initial purchase by the investor of shares of the company or unit investment trust; (2) the investor’s mailing address for delivery, as listed in the records of the company or unit investment trust, has a ZIP code for which the common carrier has suspended mail service, as a result of Hurricane Florence, of the type or class customarily used by the company or unit investment trust, to deliver summary or statutory prospectuses; and (3) the company, or unit investment trust, or other person promptly delivers the summary or statutory prospectus, as applicable either (a) if requested by the investor, or (b) by the earlier (i) of Oct. 29, 2018 or (ii) the resumption of the applicable mail service.
  • A registered investment adviser will be considered to have satisfied Form ADV filing requirements under Section 204(a) of the Advisers Act and Rule 204-1 thereunder, if:  (1) the registrant’s Form ADV filing deadline falls within the period from Sept. 14, 2018 to Oct. 26, 2018; (2) the registrant was or is not able to meet its filing deadline due to Hurricane Florence; and (3) the registrant makes the required Form ADV filing by Oct. 29, 2018.
  • During the period from Sept. 14, 2018 to Oct. 26, 2018, a registered investment adviser will be considered to have satisfied the requirements of Section 204 of the Advisers Act and Rule 204-3(b) thereunder to deliver the written disclosure statements required thereunder to its advisory client, provided that:  (1) the client’s mailing address for delivery, as listed in the records of the investment adviser, has a ZIP code for which the common carrier has suspended mail service, as a result of Hurricane Florence, of the type or class customarily used by the adviser to deliver written disclosure statements; and (2) the investment adviser or other person promptly delivers the written disclosure statement either (a) if requested by the client, or (b) at the earlier of (i) Oct. 29, 2018 or (ii) the resumption of the applicable mail service.
  • Some companies and other affected persons may require additional or different assistance in their efforts to comply with the requirements of the federal securities laws and therefore are encouraged to contact Commission staff.  The Commission staff will address these and any disclosure-related issues on a case-by-case basis.

Leave A Comment