November 2011 Client Alerts

December 19, 2011

Authored by: Bryan Cave

FED Releases Second Set of FAQs on Durbin Rules

The Federal Reserve Board recently posted a second set of questions and answers to the “Frequently Asked Questions About Regulation II (Debit Card Interchange Fees and Routing)” on the Fed’s website.  This current release of FAQs has been merged with the previously published FAQs, with the newer questions annotated with the date added.  For a summary of the new issues addressed in the FAQs, please click here to read the Alert published by the Financial Institutions Client Service Group on November 28, 2011.

FinCen Issues FAQs and Holds Webinar on Prepaid Access Rule

The Financial Crimes Enforcement Network ( “FinCEN”) recently released a set of FAQs related to the final rule on prepaid access that was issued on July 29, 2011 (the “Rule”).  The FAQs are intended to provide interpretive guidance for the Rule, not supersede or replace any part of it.  FinCen also recently  gave a webinar presentation on the Rule.  The most significant clarifications to the Rule made by FinCen are discussed in an Alert published by the Financial Institutions Client Service Group on November 28, 2011. To read this discussion,  please click here.

Supreme Court to Determine Whether Corporations Are Liable in U.S. Courts for Human Rights Violations Committed Abroad

The U.S. Supreme Court may soon decide the extent to which corporations may be sued for alleged human rights violations which arise in connection with their business activities outside the U.S.  The Court has granted certiorari petitions in two cases brought against corporations for alleged human rights violations committed abroad.  In each case, the claims were discussed by a Court of Appeals on the ground that corporations are immune from such suits.  The cases will be argued in tandem, even though different statutes apply.  To read more the cases and the statutes being applied, please click here for the Alert published by the Commercial Litigation Client Service Group on November 11, 2011.

SFO Launches New Initiative to Encourage Whistle-Blowing

On November 1, 2011, the Serious Fraud Office (“SFO”) launched a new service, “SFO Confidential,” for company insiders to report in confidence suspected serious or complex fraud or corruption.  The service launched a telephone hot-line providing access to a dedicated team of SFO operatives, as well as an on-line reporting system.  To learn more, please click here to read the Alert published by the Global Anti-Corruption Team, London, on November 2, 2011.

California Requires Retailers and Manufacturers to Comply with Anti-Slavery and Human Trafficking Law by January 1, 2012

The California Transparency in Supply Chain Act (“Act”), signed into law by Governor Schwarzenegger in September 2010 and effective January 1, 2012, requires retailers and manufacturers doing business in California to disclose their efforts to eradicate slavery and human trafficking from their direct supply chains for goods offered for sale.  The disclosure must be posted on the retailer or manufacturer’s website with a conspicuous and easily understood link from the homepage.  To learn about the requirements of the Act and covered retailers and manufacturers, please click here for the Alert published by the Retail Team on November 1, 2011. 

New Economic Sanctions Against Iran

New economic sanctions have been announced against Iran.  For a summary of the additional sactions issued by the United States, Canada, the UK and Switzerland, please click here to read the memorandum published by the International Trade Group on November 22, 2011.  Also, EU officials have agreed in principle to the addition of approximately 200 individuals or entities to its list of those with whom dealings are prohibited under existing economic sanctions.  The additions are targeted at those believed to be involved in Iranian nuclear or military activities.