New "ComplianceAlerts" to Help SEC-Registered Firms Identify Deficiencies and Improve Compliance Programs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., June 14, 2007 - The staff of the Securities and Exchange Commission today released its first ComplianceAlert letter to help chief compliance officers of SEC-registered firms learn more about common deficiencies and weaknesses that SEC examiners are finding during compliance examinations. This broader sharing of recent examination findings can benefit compliance officers and help them to proactively fine-tune their compliance and supervisory controls.
The SEC's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations conducts compliance examinations of SEC-registered investment advisers, investment companies, broker-dealers, and transfer agents to determine whether firms are in compliance with federal securities laws and rules, and to help correct deficiencies and weaknesses in compliance and supervisory controls. The SEC staff's ComplianceAlert letter, available on the SEC Web site, summarizes select areas that SEC examiners have recently reviewed during examinations, describes issues that were found, and encourages firms to review compliance in these areas and implement improvements as appropriate. SEC staff plans to issue additional ComplianceAlert letters on the SEC Web site.
SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said, "Investors are best protected when securities firms operate in full compliance with the law. Along with our CCOutreach Program, these ComplianceAlert letters are another step in our efforts to continue helping chief compliance officers foster robust compliance in the securities industry."
Lori Richards, Director of the Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations, said, "By sharing information about our examination findings, our goal is to alert firms to areas of compliance weakness so that they can take steps to proactively address any problems. Compliance staff at securities firms have often told us that they really value this kind of information, because they can use it as a roadmap to ensure that their firms have strong compliance and supervisory programs in these areas."
The SEC staff's first ComplianceAlert letter provides information concerning recent examination findings in several areas, including with respect to investment advisers' performance advertising and business continuity planning, and with respect to broker-dealers' compliance with Regulation SHO, and sales of collateralized mortgage obligations, real estate investment trust products, and Section 529 College Savings Plans.