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Opening Remarks at the National Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers

Chairman Jay Clayton

July 27, 2017

Thank you, Pete [Driscoll], for that kind introduction.  Good morning and welcome to this year’s National Compliance Outreach Program for Broker-Dealers.

It is nice to see that many of you traveled to Washington, DC to attend our program and that others have joined the webcast. Your participation here and at other events like this demonstrates your commitment to compliance and, importantly, keeping yourselves and your organizations abreast of regulatory changes and industry best practices.

Just over two weeks ago, I gave my first major policy speech — and articulated eight principles that I believe should help guide the work of the SEC. One of those principles is the importance of regulatory coordination. More specifically, I observed in the speech that the SEC shares the financial services space with many other regulators that oversee related and overlapping industries and market participants — and that coordination with, between, and among regulators is essential to a well-functioning regulatory environment.

Broker-dealer regulation is one of many areas where such regulatory coordination is vital. And I am pleased to say that strong coordination between the SEC and FINRA is particularly evident here today. Indeed, this is the sixth year that the SEC and FINRA have teamed up for this event, which provides an open forum for regulators — as well as broker-dealer compliance, audit and other professionals — to share information about strong compliance practices.

Coordination with FINRA is a particular focus for the SEC’s National Exam Program. Effective and ongoing cooperation and information sharing with FINRA allows us to more effectively and efficiently deploy our limited resources to conduct examinations and promote compliance with the federal securities laws. I have been pleased to learn that OCIE staff regularly share exam plans and findings with FINRA, and also frequently meet with FINRA staff to discuss exam and other regulatory issues. These meetings include discussions of specific broker-dealers and registered representatives that have been deemed to be high risk. I look forward to continuing to work with Robert Cook and FINRA staff on compliance, examination and other broker-dealer and securities markets regulatory issues.

I want to make one additional point. Not only is coordination between and among regulators essential – but coordination and open communication between regulators and the industries that they regulate is also vitally important. To be effective in our jobs we must continuously invest in our knowledge and understanding of the markets and individuals we regulate. This current knowledge base is critical to us, and I expect a similar understanding of our concerns is important to you as well.

That is why this event and the other compliance outreach programs that we host throughout the year are so valuable. Today’s event provides us with an opportunity to share information that will hopefully help you — the industry — develop and implement more effective compliance programs. At the same time, today’s event also allows us to gather insights from you that will help us understand the challenges and obstacles you face in developing and implementing compliance programs.

In closing, I would like to express my appreciation to all of you for joining us today and for the work you do every day to help your organizations comply with the federal securities laws. Thank you.