The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) published its 2018 examination priorities on Wednesday, stressing that retail investor protection will be a top priority for the coming year.
In particular, OCIE will focus its exams on cost and compensation disclosure, the supervision and oversight of reps, and fixed-income trading execution.
Additionally, it will examine dealers that are involved with offering cryptocurrency-related investments and initial coin offerings to ensure that retail investors receive adequate disclosure about the risks involved.
Other top priorities for 2018 include:
- compliance and risks in critical market infrastructure such as exchanges, clearing firms and transfer agents;
- anti-money laundering measures; and
- oversight of U.S. self-regulatory organization, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), including its operations, regulatory programs, and the quality of FINRA’s broker exams.
“As the markets continually evolve and the products and services available to investors adapt, OCIE remains committed in its risk-based examination program to prioritizing the interests of retail investors and examining those aspects of securities firms posing risks to investors and the proper functioning of our capital markets,” says Pete Driscoll, OCIE director, in a statement.