The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) was established in 1934 with a mission of protecting investors, maintaining fair, orderly, and efficient markets, and facilitating capital formation. The Securities and Exchange Commission is a U.S. government oversight agency responsible for regulating the securities markets and protecting investors. SEC promotes full public disclosure, protects investors against fraudulent and manipulative practices in the market, and monitors corporate takeover actions in the United States:
SEC is organised into five divisions – Corporate Finance, Trading & Markets, Investment Management, Enforcement, and Economic & Risk Analysis. Headquartered in Washington DC, the SEC maintains 11 regional offices across the US. SEC is primarily concerned with monitoring the key participants in the securities industry: securities exchanges, brokers and dealers, investment advisors and mutual funds. It ensures that each discloses important market information to their investors and protects against financial crime including money laundering, terrorism financing, insider trading, and fraud. SEC is responsible for:
The SEC Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations (OCIE) helps to identify key risk, trends, and examination priorities in an effort to promote and improve compliance, identify errors, fraud or misappropriation and protect investors. OCIE’s analytic efforts and examinations remain firmly grounded in its four pillars:
The Bank Secrecy Act requires financial institutions, including broker-dealers and investment companies, to establish anti money laundering (AML) programs. These programs must, among other things
Given the importance of above requirements, OCIE will continue to prioritise examining broker-dealers and investment companies for compliance with their AML obligations in order to assess, among other things, whether firms have established appropriate customer identification programs and whether they are satisfying their SAR filing obligations, conducting due diligence on customers, complying with beneficial ownership requirements, and conducting robust and timely independent tests of their AML programs. The goal of these examinations is to ensure that broker-dealers and investment companies have adequate policies and procedures in place that are reasonably designed to identify suspicious activity and illegal money laundering activities.