SEC issues new compliance alerts

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The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has started issuing ComplianceAlert letters to chief compliance officers of SEC-registered firms, to help them learn more about common deficiencies and weaknesses SEC examiners are finding during compliance examinations.

This broader sharing of recent examination findings can benefit compliance officers and help them to proactively fine-tune their compliance and supervisory controls, says the SEC.

Its Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations investigates SEC-registered investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers and transfer agents to determine whether firms are in compliance with federal securities laws and rules, and to help correct deficiencies and weaknesses in compliance and supervisory controls.

The SEC ComplianceAlert letter, which is made available on the SEC website, summarises select areas that SEC examiners have recently reviewed during examinations, describes issues that were found, and encourages firms to review compliance in these areas and implement improvements as appropriate.

“Investors are best protected when securities firms operate in full compliance with the law. Along with our CCOutreach programme, these ComplianceAlert letters are another step in our efforts to continue helping chief compliance officers foster robust compliance in the securities industry,” said Christopher Cox, SEC chairman.

“By sharing information about our examination findings, our goal is to alert firms to areas of compliance weakness so they can take steps to proactively address any problems. Compliance staff at securities firms have often told us they really value this kind of information, because they can use it as a roadmap to ensure their firms have strong compliance and supervisory programmes in these areas,” said Lori Richards, director of the SEC’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.

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