JPMorgan Chase Bank N.A. will pay more than $135 million to settle charges of improper handling of “pre-released” American Depositary Receipts (ADRs).

ADRs – U.S. securities that represent foreign shares of a foreign company – require a corresponding number of foreign shares to be held in custody at a depositary bank. The practice of “pre-release” allows ADRs to be issued without the deposit of foreign shares, provided brokers receiving them have an agreement with a depositary bank and the broker or its customer owns the number of foreign shares that corresponds to the number of shares the ADR represents.

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WASHINGTON—The federal bank regulatory agencies announced the annual adjustment to the asset-size thresholds used to define small bank, small savings association, intermediate small bank, and intermediate small savings association under the Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) regulations.

The annual adjustments are required by the CRA rules. Financial institutions are evaluated under different CRA examination procedures based upon their asset-size classification. Those meeting the small and intermediate small institution asset-size thresholds are not subject to the reporting requirements applicable to large banks and savings associations unless they choose to be evaluated as a large institution.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced that it has voted to adopt new Rule 610T of Regulation NMS to conduct a Transaction Fee Pilot in NMS stocks. The pilot is designed to generate data that will help the Commission analyze the effects of exchange transaction fee and rebate pricing models on order routing behavior, execution quality, and market quality generally. Data from the Pilot will be used to facilitate an empirical evaluation of whether the exchange transaction-based fee and rebate structure is operating effectively to further statutory goals and whether there is a need for any potential regulatory action in this area.

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Washington, DC — A federal court in New York entered an Opinion and Order ( Opinion and Order) on December 3 against defendants Haena Park, her companies Phaetra Capital GP LLC, Phaetra Capital Management LP, and Argenta Group LLC (collectively, Pool Defendants), requiring the firms to pay $22,917,551 in restitution to defrauded investors and the Pool Defendants to pay, jointly and severally a $100,000 civil monetary penalty in a CFTC enforcement action, filed on June 2, 2016 and charging Park Defendants with fraudulent solicitation and misappropriation of funds, among other charges. This ruling resolves he Commodity Futures Trading Commission's (CFTC) litigation against the defendants.

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Emergency Support to Producers in Surrounding Counties Also Available

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Michigan agricultural producers who lost property due to recent natural disasters may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) physical loss loans. The Farm Service Agency (FSA) offers these low-interest loans to agricultural producers in four Michigan counties, the primary damaged area, who incurred losses caused by two separate disaster events. Approval is limited to applicants who suffered severe physical losses only, including the loss of buildings and livestock. Applications are due Aug. 12, 2019.

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Emergency Support to Producers in Surrounding Counties Also Available

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue designated Grand Traverse County, Michigan, as a primary natural disaster area. Producers who suffered losses due to hail that occurred on Aug. 1, 2018, may be eligible for U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Farm Service Agency (FSA) emergency loans.

This designation by Secretary Perdue allows FSA to extend much-needed emergency credit to producers recovering from natural disasters. Emergency loans can be used to meet various recovery needs including the replacement of essential items such as equipment or livestock, reorganization of a farming operation or the refinance of certain debts.

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