The spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) has presented new and unique challenges for the securities industry. The typical “playbook” for disaster relief and business continuity planning never contemplated a world – as we have today – where highly interconnected individuals are required to observe social distancing, avoid groups of more than ten persons, and work from home. As firms navigate these unchartered waters, they might take comfort in the fact that even in uncertain times, there are some concrete steps that they can take to mitigate potential legal and regulatory exposure that may result from a dispersed and remote workforce.
We discuss eight key issue areas and practice points that broker-dealers may consider in a COVID-19 environment. SEC Trading & Markets staff have told us that they are open and receptive to requests for relief and guidance.