The Securities and Exchange Commission’s exam division released Wednesday its 2018 priorities list.
The Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations said that examiners “will continue to prioritize our commitment to protect retail investors, including seniors and those saving for retirement,” focusing a close eye on products and services offered to retail investors, and the disclosures investors receive about those investments.
OCIE plans to conduct exams targeting “circumstances in which retail investors may have been harmed and reviewing whether financial service professionals have met their legal obligations,” the team, led by OCIE Director Pete Driscoll, said.
The securities regulator’s exam team will also zero in on digital advice and wrap-fee programs, mutual funds and ETFs, cryptocurrencies as well as never-before examined advisors.
“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,” said Driscoll in a statement announcing the priorities.
OCIE noted that the 2018 list is “not exhaustive,” and that “additional priorities may be added in light of market conditions or as OCIE identifies emerging risks and trends.”
While the annual exam priorities starts with feedback from exam staff, OCIE also seek advice of the SEC chairman and commissioners, staff from other SEC divisions and offices, the SEC’s investor advocate, and the SEC’s fellow regulators.
Read on to see how the agency’s examiners will zoom in on the following key areas: