The Securities and Exchange Commission is creating a website that will contain “a searchable database of individuals” who have been barred or suspended as a result of federal securities law violations, the agency’s chairman, Jay Clayton, said Wednesday.
“This resource is intended to make the prior actions of repeat offenders and fraudsters more visible to investors,” Clayton said at the Practising Law Institute’s 49th Annual Institute on Securities Regulation conference in New York.
“Clearly, there are fraudsters in our marketplace who are seemingly unafraid of, or undeterred by, the risk of being caught. The SEC can target the underlying conduct of those fraudsters – and we do – but we also can and should arm investors with information that makes it more difficult for them to be defrauded.”
The searchable website, Clayton continued, “will be particularly valuable when bad actors have shifted from the registered space for investment advisors and broker-dealers to the unregistered space.”
Clayton stated in late September that the agency was planning to compile data on people who are not registered as advisors or brokers in order to catch more incidences of fraud.
During his Wednesday comments, Clayton said that the securities regulator reminds investors “repeatedly that they should conduct a background check before investing with a financial professional, and we are showing them how to do just that” with the upcoming website and with FINRA’s BrokerCheck.