On December 20, 2018, two days before the recent partial federal government shutdown began, the Securities and Exchange Commission’s Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations announced its 2019 Examination Priorities. As discussed previously, the shutdown resulted in the SEC operating at a quite minimal level. Now that the shutdown is over, registered investment advisers and broker-dealers can likely expect OCIE to fully implement the following examination priorities.
OCIE listed six examination priorities for 2019: (1) matters of importance to retail investors, especially seniors and investors saving for retirement; (2) compliance and risk in registrants who are tasked with overseeing critical market infrastructure; (3) focus on FINRA and MSRB; (4) digital assets; (5) cybersecurity; and (6) anti-money laundering. According to OCIE, this is not an exhaustive list, and one can expect OCIE to cover other issues in its examinations. However, OCIE has concluded that these issues “present potentially heightened risk to investors or the integrity of U.S. capital markets.” Continue reading