The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Tuesday that the agency’s enforcement actions in fiscal year 2013 resulted in “a record” $3.4 billion in monetary sanctions ordered against wrongdoers, 10% higher than monetary sanctions ordered in 2012.
However, enforcement actions against both broker-dealers and advisors notched down. The SEC filed 686 enforcement actions in the fiscal year that ended in September. Of those, BDs were hit with 121 actions in 2013 versus 134 in 2012, while the SEC levied 140 actions against advisors this year versus 147 in 2012.
The $3.4 billion in disgorgement and penalties resulting from the actions in 2013 is 10% higher than fiscal 2012 and 22% higher than fiscal 2011, when the SEC says that it filed the most actions in agency history.
“A strong enforcement program helps produce financial markets that operate with integrity and transparency, and reassures investors that they can invest with confidence,” said SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White, in a statement. “I am incredibly proud of the dedicated and talented women and men of the Enforcement Division. Our results show that we are prepared to tackle the breadth and complexity of today’s securities markets.”
George Canellos, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, added in the same statement that, “We are focused on addressing wrongdoing in all corners of the financial industry. Going forward, we will continue to be aggressive but fair in our pursuit of those who violate the securities laws.”
Andrew Ceresney, co-director of the SEC’s Division of Enforcement, added that “numbers tell only a part of the story as we look to bring high-quality enforcement actions that make an impact across the market. We are proud of the terrific results achieved by our hardworking and committed staff and pleased with the strong and robust pipeline of investigations they’ve developed for the year ahead.”
The SEC noted that the Enforcement Division is headed into the next fiscal year “well positioned for significant achievements across its program,” having opened 908 investigations last year (up 13%) and obtained 574 formal orders of investigation (up 20%).