SEC Announces 2016 Examination Priorities

Posted on January 27th, 2016 at 5:12 PM
SEC Announces 2016 Examination Priorities

From the Desk of Jim Eccleston at Eccleston Law LLC:

Earlier this month the Securities and Exchange Commission announced its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) 2016 priorities. The new areas of focus will include liquidity controls, public pension advisers, product promotion, and two popular investment products – exchange-traded funds (ETFs) and variable annuities. The shifting priorities reflect a continued focus on risk areas such as cybersecurity, microcap fraud, fee selection, and reverse churning. SEC chair Mary Jo White has publically commented on the matter, stating “Through information sharing and conducting comprehensive examinations, OCIE continues to promote compliance with the federal securities laws to better protect investors and our markets.” Marc Wyatt, who is currently the Director of OCIE, hopes that registrants will use the information to evaluate their own compliance programs in these key areas.

The 2016 examination priorities address issues across a variety of financial institutions, ranging from investment advisers to clearing agencies.  The areas of examination include:

-          Protecting retail investors. This includes those investing for retirement. OCIE will continue multiple 2015 initiatives to assess risk to retail investors seeking information advice, products, and services to help them plan for retirement.

-          Market-Wide risks. OCIE will continue to focus on cybersecurity in 2016. New initiatives include an evaluation of broker-dealers’ and investment advisors’ liquidity risk management practices as well as firms’ compliance with SEC’s Regulation SCI, designed to strengthen the technology infrastructure of the U.S. securities markets.

-          Data Analytics. OCIE’s progressing ability to review and analyze large amounts of information will assist examiners’ ongoing initiatives to assess anti-money laundering compliance, detect fraud, and review for excessive trading.

The published priorities for 2016 are not concrete and reserve the ability to be adjusted in light of market conditions, industry developments and ongoing risk assessment activities. OCIE selected these priorities in consultation with the SEC and the Division of Enforcement, among other regulators.

The attorneys of Eccleston Law LLC represent investors and advisers nationwide in securities and employment matters. Our attorneys draw on a combined experience of nearly 65 years in delivering the highest quality legal services. If you are in need of legal services, contact us to schedule a one-on-one consultation today. 


Related Attorneys: James J. Eccleston

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