Just before the federal government shutdown, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (“OCIE”) published its examination priorities for 2019. Retail investors, including retirement savers and seniors are on top of the SEC’s list of those to protect. Retirement accounts and products, conflicts, fees, and mutual funds are just a few of the areas of the SEC’s interest this year. RIA’s are also high on OCIE’s 2019 list. The SEC will continue to focus on the elusive digital asset market and cybersecurity.
FINRA and MSRB have a target on their own heads as well. This should ultimately impact investor protection because those two regulators have far broader reach in their oversight than the SEC’s budget and staffing allow. Essentially, FINRA and MSRB better make sure to dot their “i's” and cross their “t’s”.
Although OCIE’s 2019 preview lacks surprises, it is thorough and will be helpful to industry participants in focusing on areas of regulatory import. The message to investors is, again, that the SEC is doing what it can to look out for you.
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